Taylor Shepherd Age 8

Niece's 4th Open Heart Surgery At Age 9

MY NAME IS SANDY. I AM TAYLOR SHEPHERD'S AUNT.
I WOULD LIKE TO RAISE SOME MONEY TO HELP MY SISTER, RENEE, WITH TAYLOR’S MEDICAL BILLS AND I AM ASKING FOR YOUR HELP.
TAYLOR WILL TURN NINE ON MARCH 29, 2009. SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS BORN WITH A HEART CONDITION. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE HER STORY WITH YOU.
TAYLOR HAS BEEN THRU SO MUCH IN HER LIFE. SHE HAS HAD THREE SURGERIES SO FAR. THE FIRST ONE WHEN SHE WAS 13 DAYS OLD. SHE IS NOW SCHEDULED FOR HER FOURTH OPEN HEART SURGERY ON APRIL 3, 2009. SHE WAS BORN WITH A LARGE HOLE IN HER HEART AND VALVE AND ARTERY PROBLEMS AS WELL.
IN APRIL OF 2000, MY SISTER RENEE AND I TOOK HER IN FOR HER WEIGHT CHECK. THE DOCTOR NOTICED A LOUD HEART MURMER. SHE THEN SUGGESTED THAT MY SISTER TAKE HER TO RILEY HOSPITAL IN INDIANAPOLIS. THE DOCTOR WENT AHEAD AND SCHEDULED HER AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE END OF APRIL. IT WAS THREE WEEKS LATER.
THIS DOCTOR SEEMED TO HAVE NO COMPASSION! SHE ACTED AS IF IT WAS NO BIG DEAL! RENEE AND I DISCUSSED THIS AND SHE WAS VERY UPSET. TOLD MY SISTER THAT I WOULD GET ANOTHER OPINION JUST TO BE SURE. SHE CONSULTED WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS ABOUT WHAT SHE SHOULD DO. SHE LOST SLEEP OVER IT. MEANWHILE HOLDING TAYLOR EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY THAT SHE COULD AND CRYING CONSTANTLY. SHE DECIDED TO CALL A LOCAL PEDIATRICIAN NAMED DR. ANITA KISHAN. THEY TOLD HER TO BRING HER IN THE NEXT DAY!
I PICKED RENEE AND TAYLOR UP AND TOOK THEM TO THE DOCTOR. RENEE WAS A MESS! THEY TOLD US TO UNDRESS THE BABY AND SHE WOULD BE IN TO SEE HER IN A FEW MINUTES. I TOLD RENEE THAT I WOULD DO IT. UPON GETTING TAYLOR UNDRESSED I NOTICED HOW BLUE SHE LOOKED BUT DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING TO MY SISTER ABOUT IT FOR FEAR OF UPSETTING HER EVEN MORE.
THEN DR. KISHAN CAME IN AND NOTICED IT RIGHT AWAY. SHE CHECKED HER OXYGEN LEVEL AND IT WAS VERY LOW! SHE THEN TOLD RENEE AND I TO TAKE TAYLOR OVER TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT THE HOSPITAL AND SHE WOULD MEET US THERE. SHE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WASN’T HER OXYGEN MACHINE MALFUNCTIONING AND WANTED THE E.R. TO CHECK HER. SO I DRESSED HER AND OFF WE WENT.
WHEN WE GOT TO THE E.R., THEY RUSHED US BACK AND CHECKED IT AND IT WAS VERY LOW SO THEY GAVE HER OXYGEN IMMEDIATELY. I LEFT THE ROOM TO CALL OUR PARENTS AND LET THEM KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON AND BY THE TIME I GOT BACK TO THE ROOM, THEY HAD AN IV IN HER HEAD AND HAD HER HOOKED UP TO MONITORS. THEN DR KISHAN SAID THAT TAYLOR WAS DYING! THIS WAS BEYOND BELIEF??! SHE TOLD US THAT WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT THAT THERE IS A LITTLE SHUNT IN THE HEART OF THE BABY THAT SUPPLIES THE OXYGEN FROM THE MOTHER. AFTER THE BABY IS BORN, THE SHUNT CLOSES UP…..BUT FOR SOME REASON…. TAYLOR’S HAD STAYED OPEN A LITTLE LONGER BUT WAS NOW BEGINNING TO CLOSE AND SHE WAS LOSING OXYGEN AND HER LIFE! LUTHERAN HOSPITAL FLEW IN SOME MEDICINE TO INJECT INTO TAYLOR TO KEEP THE SHUNT OPEN AND KEEP HER ALIVE SO THEY COULD TRANSPORT HER BY HELICOPTER TO LUTHERAN HOSPITAL IN FT WAYNE. THEY TOLD US THAT IF SHE WOULD HAVE WAITED TO TAKE HER TO RILEY IN THREE WEEKS, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO LATE. SHE WOULD NOT HAVE LIVED THROUGH THAT WEEKEND OR EVEN THAT DAY! SO THEY PUT HER ON THE HELICOPTER AND WE GOT IN THE CAR AND DROVE TO FT WAYNE. ONCE WE ARRIVED TO THE E.R. AT LUTHERAN HOSPITAL, IT WAS A WAITING GAME! THERE WE WERE FOR SEVERAL HOURS. THEY MOVED HER TO THE PEDIATIRIC ICU. THEY THEN GOT HER STABLIZED AND ASKED RENEE WHICH HOSPITAL IN INDIANAPOLIS WOULD SHE PREFER TO SEND HER TO! SHE WAS TOLD SHE COULD GO TO RILEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OR ST VINCIENTS HOSPITAL. AFTER DISCUSSING BOTH OPTIONS WITH A HOSPITAL STAFF MEMBER SHE DECIDED TO SEND HER TO ST VINCENT’S.
ST VINCENT’S HOSPITAL THEN SENT A PEDIATRIC ICU UNIT UP TO FORT WAYNE TO GET HER WHICH WAS FULLY STAFFED AS NEEDED TO TAKE CARE OF HER ON HER TRIP DOWN TO INDIANAPOLIS. MEANWHILE THIS BABY HAD THREE IV’S IN HER AND HOOKED UP TO SO MANY MONITORS. IT WAS A TERRIBLE SIGHT! THEY SAID SHE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND ANOTHER HELICOPTER RIDE SO THEY HAD TO TRANSFER HER IN AN AMBULANCE.
SO WE WAITED ONCE AGAIN FOR THE AMBULANCE TO PICK HER UP AND TAKE HER DOWN TO ST VINCENT'S. WE THEN DROVETO INDIANAPOLIS.
ONCE WE ARRIVED AT ST VINCIENT’S HOSPITAL.....WE WAITED AND WAITED! THEN THEY SAID WE COULD GO BACK AND SEE HER TWO AT A TIME. AFTER I GOT BACK THERE....IT WAS SO HEARTBREAKING! THIS POOR BABY WAS 9 DAYS OLD BUT LOOKED SIX MONTHS OLD! SHE WAS SO BLOATED AND HAD ALL THESE GADGETS ON HER!! IT JUST BROKE MY HEART! THEY THEN SET UP HER SURGERY FOR FOUR DAYS LATER. THEY NEEDED TO RUN SOME TESTS TO DETERMINE WHAT TO DO. WE HAD BEEN TO THREE DIFFERENT HOSPITALS IN 18 HOURS!
THE STAFF AT THIS HOSPITAL WERE WONDERFUL! THEY MADE YOU FEEL WELCOME AND AS COMFORTABLE AS THEY COULD. THIS WAS BY FAR THE HARDEST THING I HAD EVER BEEN THRU IN MY LIFE! I JUST KNEW HOW BAD I FELT AND I COULDN’T BEGIN TO IMAGINE WHAT MY SISTER WAS GOING THROUGH. IT WAS HARD ENOUGH JUST BEING HER AUNT!
THEY PUT IN A TEMPORARY SHUNT WHEN SHE HAD HER SURGERY. SHE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR TWO WEEKS. AFTER HER SURGERY THEY TOLD US THAT SHE WOULD NEED TO HAVE SEVERAL MORE SURGERIES THROUGHOUT HER LIFE. THIS WASN’T JUST A QUICK FIX! SHE HAD MAJOR PROBLEMS. SHE DID WELL AFTER THE FIRST SURGERY. SHE RECOVERED GREAT AND WITHIN A FEW DAYS LOOKED BEAUTIFUL AS EVER! SHE SPENT TWO WEEKS IN THE ICU AND GOT TO GO HOME.
IN MAY OF 2001, THEY DID OPEN HEART SURGERY ON HER TO REPAIR THE HOLE IN HER HEART AND TO TRY AND WIDEN THE PULMONARY ARTERIES. SURGERY STARTED AT 9:00 A.M. AND AT 1:00 P.M. THEY CAME TO RENEE AND TOLD HER THAT TAYLOR HAD TO GO ON LIFE SUPPORT. SHE WAS ON LIFE SUPPORT FOR EIGHTEEN HOURS. A LITTLE LATER, THEY THEN TOLD RENEE THAT THEY HAD TO RUSH HER IN FOR A HEART CATHERIZATION. THEY TRIED PUTTING STINTS INTO THE PULMONARY ARTERIES AND THAT WORKED AND SHE CAME OFF OF LIFE SUPPORT. SHE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR THREE WEEKS.
IN THE SUMMER OF 2003, SHE WENT IN FOR AN OVERNIGHT STAY AND ANOTHER HEART CATHERIZATION. THEY BALLOONED TWO STINTS. SHE WAS OUTGROWING HER ARTERIES. WHILE THEY BALLOONED THE ARTERIES, THEY OVER EXTENDEDTHEM AND BLED INTO HER LUNG. SHE WAS GIVEN MEDICATION TO PARALYZE HER FOR TWO AND A HALF WEEKS. SHE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR THREE AND A HALF WEEKS THIS TIME.
THEN IN JULY OF 2007 SHE HAD TO GO IN FOR A THIRD OPEN HEART SURGERY. THEY WERE PUTTING IN AN ARTIFICIAL TRI-CUSPID VALVE AND CONDUIT TO WIDEN THE FLOW TO THE PULMONARY ARTERIES. WHEN THEY WERE PUTTING THE FEEDING TUBE IN HER DURING AN X-RAY THEY NOTICED MALROTATION WHICH MEANT THAT HER INSIDES WERE JUMBLED. HER INTESTINES WERE ON THE WRONG SIDE AND HER APPENDIX WAS UP AROUND HER RIB CAGE AND THEY NEEDED TO SET UP ANOTHER SURGERY FOR THAT. THIS WAS ONE OF THE WORST TIMES FOR HER. SHE WAS IN ICU FOR 4 WEEKS. SHE COULDN’T EAT AND IT WAS A TOUCH AND GO SITUATION. HER ORGANS WERE BEGINNING TO SHUT DOWN ON HER. WE REALLY DIDN’T KNOW IF SHE WAS GOING TO MAKE IT THROUGH THIS TIME. ALL WE COULD DO WAS PRAY! WHEN THIS CHILD GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL SHE LOOKED ANOREXIC AND HER HAIR WAS FALLING OUT FROM MALNUTRITION ALL THOUGH THEY FED HER INTREVENEOUSLY AND HAD HER EATING BEFORE SHE CAME HOME.
HOW MUCH MORE COULD THIS LITTLE GIRL TAKE? SHE WENT BACK INTO THE HOSPITAL IN OCTOBER 2007 FOR THE MALROTATION SURGERY TO REPAIR HER INTERNAL ORGANS. THEY REMOVED HER APPENDIX AND GALLBLADDER AND MOVED HER INTESTINES WHERE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE. SHE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR A WEEK.
SHE HAD A FEW EPISODES WHERE HER HEART WAS BEATING SO FAST SHE COULDN’T GET ENOUGH AIR. THEY TOLD RENEE TO BRING HER DOWN TO BE CHECKED. THEY GAVE HER A HEART MONITOR AND WHEN THESE THINGS HAPPENED SHE COULD JUST PLUG THIS INTO THE PHONE AND THEY COULD READ WHAT WAS GOING ON. HER HEART RATE WAS OVER 200! THEY SAID TO BRING HER DOWN AGAIN SINCE SHE HAD SEVERAL EPISODES AFTER THAT.
IN 2008 HER HEARTBEAT WAS IRREGULAR AND THEY NEEDED TO SHOCK IT. THEY HAD TROUBLE GOING IN AND OUT OF THE EORATOBLADDER. THEY SHOCKED HER HEART ONCE AND PUT IT BACK IN RHYTHM. SHE THEN HAD A HEART CATHERIZATION AFTER THAT AND THEY FOUND OUT THAT HER TRI-CUSPID VALVE WAS LEAKING A LOT AND THAT THE CONDUIT VALVE HAS A LOT OF SCARING AND CALCIUM BUILD UP ON IT.
SHE IS SCHEDULED FOR AN ELECTOLYSIS EXPERIMENT HEART CATHERERIZATION ON APRIL 2, 2009 AND SHE IS SCHEDULED FOR HER FOURTH OPEN HEART SURGERY ON APRIL 3, 2009 TO REPAIR THE CONDUIT VALVE AND FIX THE LEAK. THEY ARE HOPING THAT SHE IS STRONG ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH ANOTHER ONE SO EARLY AFTER THE LAST ONE. THEY REALLY WANTED TO WAIT A FEW MORE YEARS BUT THIS CAN’T WAIT. SHE IS GOING TO HAVE HER SURGERY DONE AT A HOSPITAL IN ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN. THE DOCTOR PERFORMING THE SURGERY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ONE OF THE BEST ONES IN THE COUNTRY.
MY SISTER IS A SINGLE MOTHER. SHE HAS A TWO YEAR OLD ALSO. RENEE HAS LOST SO MUCH TIME AT WORK DUE TO TAYLOR’S CONDITION AND EVEN WITH INSURANCE; THE MEDICAL BILLS ARE OVERWHELMING. RENEE REALLY IS STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET. OUR PARENTS (WHO AREN’T IN THE BEST OF HEALTH EITHER), ARE BABYSITTING FOR HER AS SHE CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY A BABYSITTER. I DON’T LIVE CLOSE ENOUGH TO HER TO HELP HER OUT AND OUR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS WORK.
SHE OWES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND IT IS SO HARD ON THEM ALL. I WOULD LIKE TO RAISE SOME MONEY TO HELP HER. I LOVE MY SISTER AND MY NIECE VERY MUCH AND WANT TO HELP THEM IN ANY WAY THAT I CAN.
TAYLOR HAS BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH. SHE IS A FIGHTER! NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT! I REALLY HOPE SOMEONE CAN HELP ME!
I AM ENCLOSING PICTURES OF HER SURGERIES SO THAT YOU CAN SEE HOW SERIOUS THIS IS. I WOULD DEEPLY APPRECIATE ANYTHING THAT ANYONE CAN DO TO HELP ME. PLEASE, IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS PLEASE NOTIFY ME.
THANK YOU

SANDY GRUBBS
P.O. BOX 403
SILVER LAKE, IN 46982

E-Mail me at: slgrubbs410@aol.com

This story is inappropriate and should be flagged for moderation. Please choose from one of the following options:

You have indicated this comment should be removed.

Close

The comment has been submitted for review. Thank you .

Amber Collins says ... on Monday, Apr 6 at 9:45 AM

I went and posted your link on aid page and ask others to share the story too. So...maybe people will get this story out so more can read it. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. God bless, Amber

Tree Guardian says ... on Sunday, Apr 5 at 3:22 PM

Thank You for sharing Your story at Tree of Wishes. I have also put You story on Twitter and Facebook. Best Regards.

ROSHELLE says ... on Thursday, Apr 2 at 10:09 PM

MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, YOU ALL WILL BE IN MY PRAYERS!!!!!!!!

Anonymous says ... on Thursday, Apr 2 at 11:39 AM

The Taylor Shepherd Benefit is being held at the Knights of Columbus in Warsaw, IN on June 27, 2009.beginning at 2:00 P.M with kids games and an Elvis Impersonator performing from 3-4 and an auction beginning at 4:30. Karaoke and dance after auction.

Sandy Grubbs says ... on Friday, Mar 20 at 12:17 PM

Donations are now being accepted for Taylor at the Lake City Bank in Silver Lake, IN. Thank you for your support!

Pastor Rod Ruberg says ... on Saturday, Mar 14 at 12:31 PM

Steve & Kim Dunnuck (cousins) forwarded this article to me as a prayer request. I am forwarding the content to our "Prayer List" and will being it up Sunday Morning for the entire church to pray. Pass this to YOUR Pastor. Thanks.

Walter E Gatlin says ... on Thursday, Mar 12 at 2:10 PM

You need to go to your sister NOW! You need to run like the wind and don't look back! Sandy, You need to be there with your family and hold onto your niece NOW! Don't say you can't because in America you can do ANYTHING! Don't look back! Run!

Chuck Dorgan says ... on Thursday, Mar 12 at 12:12 PM

I know Renee and if Taylor is anything like her Mom then yes she is a fighter and will not give up. I wish them both all the luck and God's blessings. My prayers are with you. Chuck

Julie says ... on Wednesday, Mar 11 at 10:02 AM

Hope everything goes well! Best wishes to her and her family.

Add a comment

Name:

Comment: 250 Characters Left

WISE INC TV NOW - and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.