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Family Seeks Help as Baby Waits for Heart Donor

Two-month-old baby Rylee Campbell is a bubbly, happy baby with a deadly condition. With her parents by her side at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, she’s fighting for her life as she awaits a possible heart donor.

She was born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and left ventricular non-compaction, characterized by the thickening of the heart muscle.

“The hard part of it is that what she needs cannot come from a living donor. Another baby is going to die so that mine can live,” said her mother, Lindsey Campbell, through tears. “If I could give her my heart I would.”

With the help of Shane LaDow, a long time family friend, the parents set up a gofundme page to help raise the $5,000 they say they need for transportation, incidentals and food.

“It’s tough what they are going through,” LaDow said. “And it’s not only about the money, they’re looking for a donor too, so the more people know the more chances there will be of finding one.”

When Rylee was born May 29 she had trouble breathing and cried frequently, her mother said.

She was admitted to the hospital with only 13 percent heart function. The left side of Rylee’s heart looked like a honey comb and had a hole that was non-repairable, her mother said.

Baby Rylee needed a breathing tube. A heart doctor gave mom and dad the frightening news.

“I need to get your baby admitted right now or she could die this week,” mom said the doctor told them.

The baby initially made progress but her condition deteriorated when she was taken off her IV.

“When they gave her the meds orally within two hours I noticed that she was breathing heavy again,” Campbell said. “The next morning the doctor came in, I left to go run an errand and when I came back, her heart went down to 30 percent function.”

Their daughter’s condition has hit the family hard.

When she can, mom stays at a place near the hospital to be closer to her daughter and drives home to wash Rylee’s blankets three times a week. Dad stays home to take care of his 6-year-old son while visiting Rylee as often as he can.

“Between me staying here and being with Rylee and the boys staying at home, it’s hard,” Campbell said.

Rylee appears to be making progress. She’s put on a couple pounds.

The parents hold out hope.

Justyn badly wants to be with his baby sister.

“He said, ‘I just want my sister home. Mom, just fix my sister and bring her home,'” said Campbell.