Family struggles to pay for toddler's heart surgery - FOX 35 News Orlando

Family struggles to pay for toddler's heart surgery

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A Brevard County couple needs help as their baby boy gets ready to have heart surgery. Even though they both have full time jobs, they say they can't afford it.

At three years old, Christian Kolker looks like a healthy little boy, but in reality his mother Christina says he has serious heart problems."He needs to get pacemaker surgery, but it's surgery where they have to have the pacemaker under his abdomen and it connects directly to the heart instead of a vein," she said.

Christina says it will cost $50,000 just to get the pacemaker surgery, something she can't afford right now with or without insurance. "I could still get insurance if I could afford it, but since I'm taking an unpaid leave we won't be able to afford it," she said. "We just moved into this house we rent."

Christina is a teacher and her husband Dave is a deputy, they thought they were finally making ends meet. "This summer we finally landed the jobs in our county," she said. "Him with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and me at Cape View Elementary. It's in our own county and we thought, this is what we can handle."

Christian was born with a heart defect, but Christina didn't think he'd need surgery so soon. Even if they can get insurance through her husband's plan, they won't be able to afford the co-pay costs. "Live pay check to pay check - I'm not asking for a handout for myself, but it's for my so," she said. "I know he's going to have to need multiple surgeries every 3 to 5 years. It's embarrassing but it's just the truth of where it is right now."

Co-workers and neighbors are planning fundraisers to help her family. "I have lots of great friends that out of nowhere stepped up to the plate," she added.

As Christian happily sings his ABCs, it's his mother's heart that hurts. "It really stinks," she said. "It does." She says, he'll get the surgery he needs but after that it will be a financial struggle trying to raise their family of three, "Our kids are everything to us, everything."

On October 20th a yard sale will take place at 7am at 7438 Hackberry Road, Cocoa Florida 32927. On November 3rd a car wash will take place from 9-1pm at the Italian Courtyard, 350 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931

A fund has also been set up at Wells Fargo Bank:
Christian Kolker Foundation
Account #1169233366

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