LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. (WATE) - Brandy Nelson of LaFollette is thankful to be home with her near 9-month-old daughter, Lorelei Rose. The entire living room in their small apartment is set up to meet the special needs of this sweet little girl.
Lorelei has spent 100 days in the hospital since her birth in March.
Despite a normal pregnancy and sonograms that looked picture perfect, something happened during the delivery process — Brandy doesn’t know what — that led to life-threatening problems for her baby.
“Something just hit. I really had a short labor. Something hit in those few hours of labor that just… traumatic brain injury, here we come,” Brandy remembers. “I had a perfect little baby up until that point. Not that she’s not perfect now, but it’s a little harder now.”
Baby Lorelei was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to oxygen and blood loss during delivery.
She now has epilepsy, lung disease and high blood pressure. She cannot swallow, so must be fed through a tube that pumps breast milk directly into her stomach.
For all the hardships Lorelei has gone through, there are normal milestones that have been reached: she has long, beautiful hair, and her mom thinks some teeth might be coming in soon.
Brandy is not giving up hope for a treatment that could improve Lorelei’s health: hyperbaric oxygen therapy that she believes could help her baby with so much, including possibly getting rid of the feeding tube.
Brandy told us, “my hope is that (feeding tube) will come out. We also have some vision impairments that have been known to be reversed with hyperbaric oxygen.”
The problem is, insurance doesn’t pay for hyperbaric treatment, and the $4,100 needed might as well be a million dollars for the single mom.
Brandy is hoping the therapy might help Lorelei’s muscle tone as well, helping her to hold her head up, maybe even sit up one day on her own.
If you’d like to help with expenses for the hyperbaric oxygen treatment, it would take place at Sarah’s Garden in Wausseon, Ohio. The $4,100 would pay for a series of treatments during the course of several days. You can help Lorelei get the treatment she needs through her GoFundMe account, or by donating money to Brandy Nelson at Community Trust Bank in LaFollette.