Ansley was born to Jenna Weeks and Aron Scribner on Nov. 20, 2013, at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis and was immediately transferred to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Spina bifida is a congenital disorder that develops in newborn babies that may cause nerve damage and fluid leaks. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which fluid builds up within the skull and may cause swelling of the brain.
Joanna Barnes, Ansley’s grandmother, described the series of events that took place immediately after Ansley’s diagnosis and her journey within the past three months.
“She was 24-hours-old when they put a shunt in her head to drain the fluid in her brain,” said Barnes. “She was in the NICU for 20 days while they monitored her and after that she came home for three weeks.
“However, she started having complications with her breathing and was put back in the hospital,” said Barnes. “They put a trake in her neck to help with breathing because she could not breathe on her own. She has been in the hospital since Jan. 3.”
According to Barnes, the family became aware of part of Ansley’s condition before her birth but was not prepared for the many complications that arose when she was born.
“We found out about Ansley having spina bifida through a sonogram,” explained Barnes. “We did our research. We knew she would have a shunt put in but we were not planning on her not being able to breathe on her own or not being able to eat. When we brought her home, we thought the worst part was over.”
Barnes hopes that the benefit will raise enough money to help with the expense of travel to Memphis for the family, medical supplies and expenses, and to help pay for Ansley’s mom to eat while she stays with Ansley at Le Bonheur, as the hospital does not pay for parental dining. She is also hopeful that the benefit will hurry along the process it will take in bringing Ansley home.
“It will be a while before we can bring her home again,” said Barnes. “She will need to get stronger, stabilize her breathing, and gain weight. Right now she is on a feeding tube.”
The benefit will consist of several activities, including a spaghetti supper that will take place between 5-7 p.m. Tickets cost $7 for people 10 years of age and older and $3 for ages 4-10.
There will also be a rifle raffle, a live auction, and live entertainment throughout the day, including a performance by Frank Caswell.
“Come out and learn what this is all about,” encouraged Barnes. “You never think that this is going to be your family in this crisis. If someone had asked me years ago if something like this could have happened to my grandchild I would have of course said no.”
“The community has really come together,” said Barnes, emotion rising in her voice. “Oh, I don’t want to cry but I’ve really been very overwhelmed with their support already. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to us.”
For more information on this event, contact Betty Mayo with METs Heart at (662) 719-0746 or (662) 843-2791.