SOMERDALE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Riley O'Brien has fought for life since before he was born. During his Mother's 22 week pregnancy checkup the doctor determined there was a problem. The baby boy she was carrying had Heterotaxy Syndrome and Congenital heart disease. The doctors informed the O'Briens that a baby with this type of diagnosis had a 50% survival rate.
This little boy is under the care of a team of doctors led by Doctor Rome of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Riley has endured 26 heart cath procedures to help him live. His little veins and body are growing weaker. He has been experiencing seizures of late. The Neurologists are trying to determine what is happening in his brain to cause them to happen. Riley lives with the help of an Oxygen tank around the clock. He is not able to go to preschool and play with kids as all healthy children do. He fights every day to live. He wants to run around with the other children and go to school. His need for one heart and two lungs is very rare. Currently, there are only three children in the United States who need one heart and two lungs.
His family struggles financially with only one parent working. Mom had to quit her job when Riley was born to care for him. Riley, his 12 year old brother and his parents need a new home. They are currently living in an old doctor's office in Somerdale, NJ. Their home is only 700 square feet and needs many repairs. The home will not be adequate for Riley to return to after he has the transplant operation for the heart and lungs. The O'Briens cannot afford to buy a new home. They struggle to cover the new co-pay. Last year, Governor Christie changed the New Jersey school's insurance carrier to one in state.
Fortunately, they have had some angels come into their life. One is a writer and artist, Shawn Van Daele from Ontario, Canada. He learned of Riley and started an Indiegogo campaign late January. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/297327.
A few weeks ago, a publicist in New York City came across a tweet asking for help and connected with Carol O'Brien immediately. Shortly thereafter, Supermodel Emily Sandberg offered her full support to help bring attention to Riley's battle. She made a heartfelt video that was published by Sandberg on Valentine's Day asking Americans to help in the effort to raise the much needed funds for a new home and bring awareness for organ donation especially for Riley O'Brien's need for one heart and two lungs. http://youtu.be/MHm5AK_geDs.
Organ donations are needed by many children and adults around the world. The need is real. As of today-- 117,167 people are waiting for an organ. 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ. One organ can help 8 people. To sign up as an organ donor visit http://organdonor.gov/ or visit your local Department of Motor vehicles.
Contact: Kathy Horn
Roadrunner Talent and Media
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