When Isaias Velez married his wife Jessica, they joined their families and instantly created a brood of four children. Isaias says they were then “surprised by the blessing of a new little member to our family” when Jessica found she was pregnant with a fifth child. At 36 weeks, however, a routine ultrasound revealed the unborn child had a severely swollen kidney; combined with Jessica’s elevated blood pressure, the situation prompted doctors to induce labor. After their “beautiful son” – Isaias, Jr. -- was born, ultrasounds disclosed that both kidneys were dangerously swollen, and subsequent tests showed the infant has bilateral duplicated kidneys and duplicated ureters. Most of us have only one ureter, which drains the kidney, but Isaias, Jr.’s condition had halved his kidney function, resulting in his first surgery at six weeks old.
Although that first, four-hour surgery should have resolved the infant’s condition, two weeks later he started vomiting uncontrollably because he could not adequately evacuate his urine. This has led to a cascade of five subsequent surgeries before the little trooper has even turned four months old. Additionally, he has had over 65 procedures, with more necessary, and he is still suffering from poor kidney function.
Needless to say, Isaias, Jr.’s travails have taken a physical and emotional toll on his family. As his dad says, “It’s devastating to see your child suffering.” Jessica and Isaias have spent weeks at a time in the Pediatric ICU, sleeping on chairs and benches in the waiting rooms. Further than this, the financial burden is rising: Jessica has had to resign her position at a local school where she’s worked the past five years. Her daughters will no longer be able to attend that school without her employee tuition discounts. Isaias has expended all his paid time off, and continues to miss work, now unpaid, to be with his wife and son. As he says, “It’s been a very rough season, but ultimately we trust that our God is in control of our situation.”
Maybe we all can be agents of Isaias’s trust. Donating to this campaign will enable the Velezes to pay the myriad medical costs that insurance will not cover, and help to backfill all the wages lost in this emergency. Isaias himself is undaunted: “We are not completely out of the woods yet, but we will fight all the way until [our baby] is healed.” Please help them in their fight.