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Fund-raiser to pay medical bills for boy with heart defect

Dylan Hixon, 3, of Oxford. (click for larger version)
September 08, 2010 - An Oxford family struggling to keep their 3-year-old son alive and healthy in spite of his severe heart defect needs the community's help to pay its medical bills.

A fund-raiser for little Dylan Hixon will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 at Independence Village of Waterstone, 701 Market St. in Oxford.

The purpose of the event is two-fold – help pay Dylan's medical bills, while at the same time giving the little boy and his twin brother, David, a sense of normalcy.

"We are trying to have the boys see some real childhood things they should be enjoying and meet some neighbors and friends and get to know the community better," said Jadwiga Jones, who's organizing the fund-raiser.

There will be a silent auction and raffle which will feature gift certificates from local restaurants and salons, car washes, jewelry, gift baskets, helicopter and hot air balloon rides.

The Oxford Fire Department will be bringing a fire truck for the children. There will also be moonwalks, slides, and a train from Andy's Railroad Train. The cost to ride the train is $10 per person or three for $25 for the day.

"We are going to be doing a little bit of everything," Jones said.

Children can also get their faces painted, watch a puppet show, eat popcorn and cotton candy and snow cones among the food and drinks that will be available.

"It is kind of like a mini-carnival," Jones said.

This month was full of good and bad news for Dylan's parents, Monica and Douglas Hixon, who are watching their son endurenumerous medical problems related to his heart condition.

The Leader reported in the May 26 issue that little Dylan was put on the top of the heart transplant list; however, his parents were e-mailed by his doctor, who, after consulting with a surgeon in the United Kingdom, decided to take Dylan off of the transplant list.

"After an extensive re-evaluation both here and with a surgeon in the UK, we have decided to go ahead with a surgery that has the potential to take a significant amount of strain off of his heart. He is now on hold for transplant while we prepare for this," the doctor wrote in the email.

However, the surgery does have a significant amount of risk the doctor closed his email with.

That was the good news.

Dylan was originally put on the heart transplant list because he was born with transposition of the great arteries, a cogenital heart defect that occurs when the large vessels that take blood away from the lungs, or the body, are connected.

In a normal heart, oxygen poor blood returns to the right atrium from the body and travels through the right ventricle and is then pumped through the pulmonary artery into the lungs, where it receives oxygen.

Oxygen rich blood returns to the left atrium from the lungs and passes into the left ventricle and is pumped into the aorta out to the body.

Dylan's condition is the exact opposite of a normal heart.

In connected transposition of the great arteries, the aorta is connected to the right ventricle, while the pulmonary artery is connected to the left ventricle.

This causes the oxygen poor blood to return to the right artium from the body and pass through the right artium and ventricle and go towards the misconnected aorta back to the body, while the oxygen rich blood passes through the left artium and ventricle and travels through the pulmonary artery and back to the lungs.

Two separate circuits are formed, one taking the oxygen poor blood that came from the body back to the body and the oxygen rich blood back to the lungs.

Now, for the bad news.

The Hixons received word from their insurance company that they would have to pay for the five months of therapy that Dylan went through following a recent stoke and cardiac arrest.

"They actually got a call about two weeks ago from the insurance company that first told them it (Dylan's therapy sessions) was covered in March, and now they are telling them that it is not covered," Jones said.

Now the family has to pay for five months of speech therapy bills and medical co-pays, according to Jones.

Everything Jones was able to get for the fund-raiser was donated.

She would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has participated or has donated items for the fundraiser.

"A lot of businesses opened their hearts and wallets for us and donated a lot of stuff...we did not have to pay a dollar for anything. I would definitely like to say thank you for that," she said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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