Firefighters help Denham Springs toddler get life-saving surgery
POSTED: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 4:33pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 25, 2011 - 9:23pm
DENHAM SPRINGS, La (NBC33) — 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