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Community comes together for baby girl

MORRISONVILLE Three-month-old Kolby Rock looks like any other newborn, but this young girl is working to overcome a serious obstacle. Kolby was born to her parents Rosa Dreflinksi and Shawn Rock of Peru, May 13, but little did they know their daughter was born with congenital heart disease. It wasnt until three weeks later that either of them noticed anything out of the ordinary, said Rosa. We were at home and she went pale gray on us, Rosa recalled. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head and she was sweaty, but cold and clammy. Rosa and Shawn rushed a limp and lifeless Kolby to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh. Initial tests showed nothing, said Rosa, and the three returned home. One week later, Kolby gave her parents a similar scare, and they rushed her to the pediatrician. An examination and chest X-ray there led their doctor to believe Kolby might have a heart murmur. The next day, the three went to Fletcher-Allen Health Care in Burlington where she was diagnosed with heart disease, needing open-heart surgery to repair valves in her heart. Kolbys operation was scheduled for July 10, but that soon changed. She ended up getting rushed to [Albany Medical Center] on July 2nd, because she just kept getting worse, said Rosa. She wasnt going to make it until the 10th. Kolby made it through the surgery successfully, but Rosa and Shawn soon found she wasnt completely out of the woods. She will eventually be put on medication and it is possible shell need another surgery at approximately 3-4 years old and again when she is a teenager. Its pretty much going to be a lot of testing and going back and forth, said Rosa. Heart conditions tend to run in the family on Rosas side, she said. Both Rosa and her older daughter, Rheannon, were born with heart murmurs, which eventually went away. Rosas mother has had heart problems, her father has high blood pressure and her grandparents died of heart attacks. [Heart disease] is something shell have the rest of her life, said Rosa. As she grows, things are going to progress, especially when she starts to walk and run. Thats why the doctors want to watch her to make sure there isnt too much stress on her heart. Kolbys first surgery was trying on her parents both emotionally and financially. The week-long stay the family had in Albany during Kolbys surgery and recovery cost Rosa and Shawn more than $800. While the two have health insurance for Kolby, all the other costs are starting to add up, including transportation back and forth to Albany and Burlington for check-ups. On top of that, the medications Kolby will need arent currently covered by their insurance, said Rosa. We are a low-income family; its not like we have that kind of money, she said. Thank God for our family. Last Sunday, a benefit was held at Cocktails to help with Kolbys current and future medical expenses. Those who were unable to attend the benefit can still help Kolby and her family. Rosa and Shawn are in the process of establishing the Kolby Rock Fund at a local bank, which will allow for anyone wishing to make a donation toward Kolbys medical expenses to simply make a deposit at the bank in person. For more information about how to help Kolby and her family, call Rosa at 570-0860.

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