Assistance for baby Alijah: Benefit set for Nov. 18 in Carson City


By Lonnie Allen • Last Updated 10:42 am on Friday, November 16, 2012

A spaghetti dinner and auction for baby Alijah starts at 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at The Rusty Nail and will go until 8 p.m. Proceeds will help pay hospital bills and living expenses with extra proceeds donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids. — Courtesy photo

CARSON CITY — Friends, family and community are rallying to help the family of newborn Alijah Skye Wysong, who is recovering from surgery at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Deb Webber of Carson City recalled Oct. 23, the day of her granddaughter’s birth at Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville. The baby girl was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

“It all happened so fast,” Webber said.

Alijah’s parents Jonathan and Brianna (Webber) Wysong of Carson City had little time to enjoy the birth of their daughter. Within minutes of her birth, Alijah was on her way to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“My daughter was devastated,” Webber said. “Not knowing what caused this birth defect, she began questioning herself as a person. It was hard on her.”

A congenital diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect where there is an opening in the diaphragm. The opening can be on the right or left side, but is most common on the left. The contents of the belly, including the stomach, spleen, liver and intestines, go up into the chest. There is little room for the lungs to grow and develop.

“As a grandparent, there are no words to explain what it’s like to watch a infant face this kind of fight,” Webber said. “She was having surgery at 6 days old and we had no idea what would happen next.”

The family was informed the correctional procedure would normally take around two hours to complete, so when the doctors came to them sooner, Webber wasn’t sure what to expect.

“Like a fog had come over us,” Webber said. “But the doctor said it was the easiest surgery he had done on a child with CDH. Only her large and part of small intestine had breached the hole.”

Recovery is slow but Alijah is making progress each day.

“It has been miracle after miracle,” Webber said.

Although the recovery is been positive it has been tough for the family. They are facing financial struggles from this unexpected complication.

“It just leaves questions running through the head,” Webber said. “What will happen next?”

Webber was sharing updates with friend on Facebook as a proud and happy grandmother. A benefit dinner was suggested.

“I didn’t know where to start,” Webber said. “I spoke with the owners at The Rusty Nail in Carson City and it all fell into place.”

Rusty Nail employee Stephanie Dunham of Crystal was happy to help the family.

“We come together for our community members whenever we can,” Dunham said. “Anything we can do to be involved with helping Deb out.”

The spaghetti dinner and auction starts at 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at The Rusty Nail and will go until 8 p.m.

Proceeds will help pay hospital bills and living expenses with extra proceeds donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids.

“Whenever we are asked by our community to help and we are capable, we do what we can do to help out those in need,” Dunham said.

For more information about the benefit, call (989) 763-5269, (817) 705-5342 or (616) 272-6851.

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