Raising Funds for Reef Carneson
$2 raised
0% of $5k goal
2 contributors
6 Years running
All funds donated go directly to Reefs parents in LA & are used for Reef's treatment

Diagnosed at 5 months old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at a routine pediatric check up. He was rushed straight from the doctor’s rooms to the Donald Gordon ...
All funds donated go directly to Reefs parents in LA & are used for Reef's treatment Diagnosed at 5 months old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at a routine pediatric check up. He was rushed straight from the doctor’s rooms to the Donald Gordon Medical Centre to begin treatment. He had 90% cancer & would be dead within the week the oncologist told us! Reef was diagnosed on a Friday, after giving him chemo over the weekend, he went into renal failure & was rushed to an ICU at Morningside clinic, he received dialysis for a week & was transferred back to Donald Gordon to continue chemo. Ryan & I were zombies. No sleep, none stop sobbing, our lives had turned inside out & we had no idea what the future held. We had just moved into a new home in January, which we sold & moved all our belongings into storage & moved into the hospital room with Reef. We did not know how much time we had so we celebrated his birthday every month. Reef had 3 rounds of chemo but his cancer was too aggressive and he did not reach remission. The oncologist called us in & told us his only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant. The hunt began for a donor & we needed R350 000 ($45 000) to pay for it, as our medical insurance did not cover it. With GOD on our side, we raised the funds and found 100% match in 6 weeks! Unheard of ever! We were transferred to Unitas hospital in Pretoria for the transplant where a specialist pediatric oncologist would take over Reef’s care. In these 6 months Reef went to ICU 3 times for different reasons and almost died every time. He kept beating the odds and the doctors were amazed and had no explanation. He had 3 surgeries for port o caths to be inserted into his chest. Reef received his bone marrow transplant on the 8th Sept 2009, a week before his 1st birthday! He became severely ill. We were in COMPLETE isolation for 84 days and Reef just lay in our arms, lifeless, hooked up to million lines. raging fever, vomiting, diahorrea, bloated to 3 times his size, blood red coloring. Ryan and I took turns to sit with him. Day in and day out we sat and stared and wondered, “Will he make it?” Slowly he started to improve and slowly the medications dwindled till we were finally able to take him home 27th December 2009. An entire year in hospital! Praying, crying, waiting, wondering! In these past months he went to ICU another 3 times for different reasons and had 2 more surgeries for port o caths. He again almost died every time but came out victorious! He had bleeds on his brain, seizures, skin reactions, and the beginning of his graft vs. host disease. February 2010 saw Reef go home and start to recover. We took him to Durban on holiday in July so that us as a family could recover too. It had been a long hard 2009. Reef began to smile and laugh and he started to be happy. His bone marrow was a success and Reef was in remission. We still had a long road ahead though. His platelets did not engraft and he had to have platelet transfusions every 4 days, his graft vs. host became chronic and he was very behind on his physical development. His immune system was severely compromised and he was in and out of hospital the whole year but in general this year was a better one than before. We were told that Reef could not interact with other kids for 5 years and we decided to try for another baby so he could have company and learn to socialize and he seemed to be having a good year so we felt it would be ok to introduce another child. I fell pregnant in the middle of the year with a little girl. Reef also got to celebrate his 2nd birthday with a party Payten was born premature on 17th January 2011 at 32 weeks. She was in ICU and high care for 6 weeks. A week after Payten was born Reef got a severe infection called CMV Pneumonia. He was airlifted from Unitas hospital to Garden City ICU almost dead! He was put on a ventilator and docs said they had never seen such a bad case of Pneumonia! 2 babies, 2 separate ICU’s, 2 different hospitals, Parents not allowed to see both children for fear of cross infection!!!! A parents worst nightmare, our precious daughter a premie needing bonding time, love and attention and our precious son dying and needing love. We had to choose and we chose Reef and my mom was sent to Payten to stand in. She received the best love and attention but she had to sacrifice not seeing Reef. The whole family torn! After the horrid start to 2011, Reef got to meet his sister, he broke his arm, his graft vs. host got worse, he suffered osteopenia, and then in March he got encephalitis and was admitted to ICU again! He suffered multiple seizures on his left side of his body for 5 days. They battled to control the seizures... read more at www.savebabyreef.com or www.facebook.com/groups/savebabyreef
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