Friends rally to help 'Baby Bella' overcomeIsabella Jaranson entered this world Nov. 17.Even before she was born, Isabella was diagnosed with a myriad of health issues — a large omphalocele, a heart defect and translocation of two chromosomes. After birth, doctors diagnosed Isabella with an enlarged heart, no pericardial sac, two ventricular septal defects and a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
By: By Mike Granlund, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
Isabella Jaranson entered this world Nov. 17.
Even before she was born, Isabella was diagnosed with a myriad of health issues — a large omphalocele, a heart defect and translocation of two chromosomes.
After birth, doctors diagnosed Isabella with an enlarged heart, no pericardial sac, two ventricular septal defects and a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
We realize most people are not familiar with these medical terms but you can be sure this is a critical time in this baby’s life. While Isabella’s parents Rachael and Chris Jaranson live in Bemidji, Minn., Isabella resided in the intensive care at Amplatz Children’s Hospital at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Isabella’s family may be familiar to many. Her mother is the former Rachael Standen of the town of Oakland, a graduate of Superior High School. Rachael’s parents are Doug and Kirsten Standen. Doug was a long-time science teacher at Northwestern High School and successful coach who officiates basketball and softball in retirement. Kirsten Standen is center manager of Family Forum Head Start in Brule.
Baby Bella is their first grandchild and obviously very precious to them.
Kirsten’s parents — the great-grandparents — are Dave and Marcia Heyser, now of Duluth. Dave Heyser was pastor of Brule Presbyterian Church for many years before retiring; and Marcia was the school nurse for the School District of Maple. Great-grandparents Del and Helene Standen have lived in the town of Parkland for around 45 years. Chris’ parents, Steve and Sally Jaranson of Bemidji have shown equal concern and compassion for baby Bella. With all of these relatives pulling for this child, we are certain she is getting terrific amounts of love and prayers in her struggle to combat her medical maladies.
The medical staff at the Amplatz has been a blessing — considered some of the best in the world.
Two sayings of unknown authors also have helped Rachael and Chris through these difficult times: “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” and “Children remind us to treasure the smallest gifts, even in the most difficult times.”
Trips from Bemidji, Duluth, Oakland and Parkland have been frequent during this critical time. Grandpa Doug said he has put 13,000 miles on his car in the last six months traveling between Superior, Bemidji and Minneapolis. Many friends have helped: Tom and Bev Libby opened up their house in Shakopee, Minn.; Mark and Misty Teigen of Iron River babysat Peek-a-Boo, the Jaransons’ pet Shih Tzu, for many months. Uncle Kyle Standen helps when time from his studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth allows.
The family has stayed in motels before room became available at Ronald McDonald House — a Godsend for the family — in the cities.
In an interview last week, Grandpa Doug, overcome by emotion, said: “On behalf of Rachael, Chris, Kirsten and myself, we are overcome with the response of our community to support us through love, prayers and help in our time of need. I am personally amazed at the strength our daughter Rachael and her husband Chris have shown throughout this ordeal. They love Isabella more than you can imagine.”
A bit of great news came Tuesday when, after 175 days in an intensive care unit and many miles from home, Baby Bella got an ambulance ride home to Bemidji. She still will need 24-hour specialized nursing care and will face a future of surgeries to correct her problems, but this is a giant step for Baby Bella.
With the help of friends, the community can now become involved to help this family in their time of need. A benefit for Baby Bella will be held noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Northwestern High School in Maple.
A Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser will help defray some of the costs incurred through this ordeal. Numerous community businesses have donated great prizes to fill the common area until raffled off to raise money Sunday. People are encouraged to attend the event.
Event organizer Rees Flint, who is one of Doug Standen’s closest friends, said: “I’ve never done this before but I am amazed at all the people who have rallied around to help. I’ve even gotten calls from people that I don’t even know who they are willing to help out.”
It is said “it takes a village to raise a child.” This is our chance to help this family by attending and showing our care and compassion for Baby Bella.
Those unable to attend can send donations to: National Bank of Commerce, FBO-Isabella Jaranson; 1127 Tower Ave.; Superior, WI, 54880.
Prayers can be delivered directly.
Isabella also has a caringbridge site. Just go to www.caringbridge.org and then enter isabellajaranson — one word — to learn more about this little miracle and her struggles.
See you on the 20th.
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