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A family from the western Twin Cities metro suburb of Mound is asking for the community’s support as their 8-month-old baby awaits a heart transplant.

In August of last year, Katie and Collin Baker’s daughter Elodie was 7 weeks old when she began refusing to nurse. The two became concerned and took Elodie to the emergency room, according to a GoFundMe account, which goes on to say that on the way to the hospital Elodie developed breathing problems, and once at the hospital, her heart had trouble supporting her.

She was eventually diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning the muscles in her heart likely won’t be able to support her body as she grows. More on her condition, which the GoFundMe explains as being "incredibly rare." 

"Pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy is an incredibly rare condition affecting 36.5 out of 100,000 children, that is, an estimated incidence rate of 0.037 percent. The condition usually is caused by (1) a severe infectious process that for some unknown reason attacks the muscle tissue in the left ventricle of the heart or (2) a genetic abnormality that is undetected during pregnancy.

"In this case, Elodie is one of the rarest patients to receive this diagnosis as she does not fall into either category—her working diagnosis is dilated cardiomyopathy of unknown etiology. That means that there is no bacterial or viral process that she was exposed to which her condition, and that her parents do not appear to carry any of the known genetic chromosomes linked to this diagnosis. What is most frustrating about her diagnosis is that her heart is structurally perfect, meaning that it is built exactly the way it should be, but for some unexplainable reason, the muscle in the left ventricle of her heart cannot squeeze or relax to push the blood to the rest of her body, causing her heart to work very hard and ultimately fail."

Elodie will require a heart transplant. She is currently intubated and on medication to support her heart muscles until she receives a new heart.

She’s receiving treatment at Lurie Children’s Heart Center in Chicago, where she's been for over 200 days now. During her time in the ICU she's learned to sit up independently, crawl and stand on her own. 

"We’ve ordered her an activity walker and hope she will sprint out of Lurie Children’s after transplant!" her family wrote in a March 9 CaringBridge journal entry. 

According to KARE 11, she is currently among the top five on a national waiting list for her age group to receive a heart transplant.

As of Sunday morning, the family’s GoFundMe had raised around $27,500. The fundraiser’s goal was to reach $25,000. 

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