Family reaches out to Rescue Squad for daughter with spinal cond - WNEM TV 5

Family reaches out to Rescue Squad for daughter with spinal condition

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MT. PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -

Their child's birth defect forced them to drive hundreds of miles for treatment.

Gemma Doran just turned 1-month-old and she's both happy and healthy. Her life and well-being were very much in the air just a few months ago.

At 20 weeks, a pregnancy check-up to determine if Lindsay Schwalm was having a boy or girl came back with devastating results.

"They told us that basically, we need to look at terminating the pregnancy," Schwalm said.

Gemma had spina bifida and doctors told Schwalm she would likely never walk or not have any quality of life.

Before they made the decision to keep Gemma they did research and found Cincinnati Children's Hospital. There doctors performed a state of the art surgery and removed Gemma from Schwalm's uterus and repaired her spine.

She was then placed back into her mother's stomach and was born on June 1 with very few health issues.

"She was gorgeous. I was just so happy to see her here that nothing else mattered, just that she was here. She was healthy and she was happy," Schwalm said.

Gemma has feeling in her legs and responds to her parents' voices, but she's not out of the woods yet.

Every three months she has routine checkups in Cincinnati.

"It gets a little bit stressful, a little bit scary. So we're trying to deal with it a day at a time as best as we can," Schwalm said.

Getting Gemma to where she is today has been a very costly ordeal. They are looking for a little bit of help. The family is hoping to find a handicap accessible vehicle and they also are looking for any additional donations people could give.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with costs.

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