Firefighters help Denham Springs toddler get life-saving surgery


POSTED: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 5:33pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 25, 2011 - 10:23pm

Firefighters are coming to the rescue of a little boy in Denham Springs, who is battling a rare intestinal defect. And now they need your help, to save his life.    

20 month old JoJo was born with gastroschisis, a type of hernia where a baby is born with his intestines outside of his body. After surgery and seven weeks in the NICU, parents Brittany and Joey thought their little boy was in the clear. 

"I started noticing stool in his diapers where it shouldn't have been," his mom, Brittany Busby, said.

It turns out this was just the beginning of JoJo's struggle. Doctors diagnosed him with a rare birth defect, causing JoJo to have three large intestines where there should be just one. He has a normal digestive tract, plus two duplications, one of which is connected to his bladder. The defect causes JoJo to have near constant infections and digestive problems. It is so rare, JoJo's parents have had to search for nearly a year, to find a specialist who can help him.

"The surgeons here, none of them have seen this, So we decided to start looking elsewhere. It's just been a fight with doctors and insurance and trying to get this resolved to get him the best care that he needs," said Busby.

They want to take JoJo to Cinncinnati Children's Hospital, over 800 miles away from their Denham Springs home. Their insurance doesn't cover out of state procedures, so Fire District 5 offered to help raise money for the life-saving surgery.

JoJo's grandfather worked for District 5 for years, and now is retired. He knew he could count on his fellow first responders to get the entire community on board.

"For these guys to do this it's really, really touching," said Joey Koczrowski, JoJo's father.

They are hosting "Rolling for JoJo", a 90 mile dice run this Saturday at 11am. All of the money raised will go to help get JoJo the care he needs.

Here are the details:

"Rolling for JoJo" Saturday, March 26th. Registration begins at 10:30am at Hooters in Denham Springs.

For more information, call the District 5 Fire Department at 225-664-1679

Comments News Comments

My heart goes out to the family. My great-grrandson, Joseph (JoJo) went through the same thing. He was in NICU at Woman's Hospital for 3 1/2 months. The longest time for our family and so many trips from Hammond to Baton Rouge. While in NICU he had at least sever (7) surgeries. When he was able to come home he had a feeding tube in his stomach because he couldn't take formula and keep it down. That went on for almost a year. There was a time that after a check up, the doctor pushed to hard and punctured his intestentines. By the time he got to the hospital, OLOL, he was turning blue and organs were shutting down. We could have lost him but with the skills of doctors and nurses Joseph is with us still. If you were to see him today you would never know what he has been through unless you see his scars. We call him JoJo and our "MIRACLE BABY". When I heard your childs name and illness I knew I had to contact you and let you know that someone else has been through some of what you are going through now. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May your JoJo be YOUR MIRACLE BABY, God Bless.

Gayle Coppinger
Hammond, La. 70401

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