As a mother of a premature baby, Amy Brocka of Tripola, Iowa, says she knew that she wanted to give her $1,000 to help a family that was also struggling through difficulties with an infant. That's when Amy read a story in the local paper about a little baby named Kylie.
When Kylie was born on January 18, 2006, doctor's diagnosed her with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a condition where the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. In order to try and save her life, doctors performed open heart surgery when Kylie was just six days old.
After many hours of surgery, doctors were able to take Kylie off the bypass machines— and she made it through the first 48 hours with no complications. After a month, doctors even thought they would be able to take her off the breathing vent. In March, just shy of two months later, doctors said the heart was working as it should be. Sadly, it didn't last.
In April, doctors noticed that Kylie's pulmonary veins and arteries weren't growing. Doctors had to go in and put in a bigger shunt to get her blood flowing so the arteries and veins could grow.
Despite infections, fevers and other issues, the family had great hope. Kylie went from feeding tubes to IVs to baby formula, and was gaining weight. But, her progress was fleeting. In June, Kylie needed surgery on the muscles around her diaphragm to help her breath, and had to be placed back on feeding tubes. That's when her parents, Mandy and Darryl, were given the devastating news. Doctors said she probably wouldn't live to her first birthday.
Kylie died in her parents' arms on August 13, after 207 days of life. She never left the hospital.
To help the family with bills, food or whatever they need, Amy gave them her $1,000. "I don't know what to say," Darryl says. "This is so unexpected."