Meet Donielle and her adorable daughter Mackenzie.
When Donielle was pregnant with Mackenzie she became anxious when told she needed to see the OBGYN immediately at her first ultrasound. That’s when she first heard of Gastroschisis, a birth defect where a baby’s intestines stick outside their body through a hole beside their belly button. Initially shocked, upset and in tears, Donielle gathered her frayed emotions and prayed for the best possible outcome.
Upon birth, Donielle’s beautiful baby girl went through a six hour operation, where her twisted intestines were removed, leaving her with a condition called short bowel syndrome. Unable to digest regular food, Mackenzie receives food nutrients via IV fluids 12 hours per day through a broviac catheter in her chest. Mackenzie, now 4 years old, has undergone 11 surgeries and been hospitalized over 35 times because the IV line can get infected, leaving her sick with a very high temperature. Each hospital stay last no less than four days, during which single mom Donielle diligently stays by her daughter’s side. Unable to work during these times, finances become very tight. Donielle works full time and tirelessly. It was very difficult for us to even schedule our visit with Donielle as she works so many hours and several times Mackenzie was just too sick to meet. Donielle is looking for another part time job now.