Mike and Vanessa Maldonado have been to several doctors in the Acadiana Area, as well as New Orleans. So far, they still have yet to receive a diagnosis on their daughter Ava, who is unable to fully digest food, water and medicine.
Recently, the family visited Dr. Elizabeth Alonso in Baton Rouge. Blood work has been taken from Ava, and results are pending at this time.
According to Mike, Alonso believes the issue may be metabolic. The family says they are still a long way from finding out what ails Ava.
If you would like to help the Maldonado family, you can make a donation at www.youcaring.com .
In the "Search for a Fundraiser" box, type "Ava's Fight."
Update on Ava Maldonado: 11/12/12
From her father Mike: "My wife drove all the way to Children's Hospital in New Orleans and after a four hour wait and tests, the doctor came in and tried to discharge her, saying it was acid reflux. Doctors in Lafayette already ruled out acid reflux. My wife begged him to call the pediatric gastro doctor on call. He refused saying that 4:30am was too early to bother the doctor. She came back to Lafayette, but the earliest date we could get for a specialist is January 29th. That's too far away. Our eyes were swollen shut this morning from crying, as we stayed up all night with our daughter, who was fighting to breathe and vomiting constantly. My wife and daughter are on their way to a hospital in Baton Rouge right now. If this doesn't work out, we will try to go out of state. I'll send Ava all over the country if I have to, in order to save her life."
A Family in Need
Sleepless nights are routine for parents of a new-born. However, for the Maldonado family, a mysterious illness that plagues their 11-week old daughter is the cause of their long nights.
Ava, born premature, is unable to digest formula and medicine. Her parents, Mike and Vanessa, said doctors have ruled out common problems like acid reflux and pyloric stenosis. Ava was born with a slight bowel obstruction, known as an ileus, but the parents were told it is not the cause. As of yet, they have not received a firm diagnosis.
"Doctors keep telling us to wait and see if it goes away," said Mike, "but these weeks that they want us to wait, it's one more day my daughter violently vomits. She can't sleep because she chokes sometimes on her vomit."
As Ava turns 3 months old, she continues to suffer and has dropped to eight pounds. Vanessa said she is not receiving proper nutrition and is constantly dehydrated. The family are also facing financial troubles. Vanessa is unable to work as she cares for Ava, and their three-year old, Layla. Mike is a local car salesman and works strictly on commission. The Maldonado's also deal daily with another tragedy. Five years ago, their four month old son, Ryan, died in his sleep due to complications from sleep apnea. Vanessa said she fears she will lose another child.
"My fear," she began tearfully, "is that I'm going to turn my head for a second or go to sleep for 30 minutes, and Ava is not going to be alive anymore."
The family is now trying to send Ava to a children's hospital in New Orleans, and have started a fundraiser to help with the cost. To donate, visit www.youcaring.com and in the "Search for a Fundraiser" box, type "Ava's Fight."