For the love of Maely: Community rallies for local infant

Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 02:29 PM.

CHIPLEY - Five month old Maely White came into the world facing the fight of her life, and several local residents are making sure the infant has plenty of support as she battles a mysterious illness that has doctors from all over the state at a loss.

Maely was born at Jackson Hospital in Marianna in March to Decoya White and Kristy Aycock of Chipley. Within an hour, she couldn't breath on her own and was placed on a ventilator.

Soon, she was transported to a hospital in Tallahassee, where she stayed for a week before being flown to Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

"She stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) there for a total of six weeks," said Aycock. "She had to have a gastrotomy tube put in so that she could eat because she couldn't eat and breath at the same time, but we were eventually able to go home. We were home for about two months, and she started having more problems and was admitted back to Shands, where she started having seizures and coded on two different occasions."

More hospital stays followed over the course of the next several weeks in what Aycock describes as a vicious cycle of frustration and worry for her young daughter as doctors struggle to look for answers.

"She's literally had a million dollar work up," said Aycock. "She's had every test imaginable, everything the doctors could think of to find out what's wrong. At this point, they're saying there's nothing more they can really do, so we're taking her home to where all of our family is." 

Aycock says Maely's periodic loss of oxygen to the brain has led to brain damage, so she doesn't respond like most five month olds - but she still knows when her loved ones are near.

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