A fundraiser for a New Bloomfield baby who doctors say is a case of "interrupted sudden infant death syndrome" will be held Saturday at New Bloomfield High School.
The Milleigh Turner Benefit, sponsored by the New Bloomfield and Holts Summit Lions Clubs and the New Bloomfield FFA, will begin with a car, truck and tractor show, petting zoo and bounce house at 2 p.m. It includes a barbecue pork steak dinner at 4 p.m., an auction at 6 p.m. and a bluegrass concert featuring John Greer and Lindley Creek at 8 p.m.
New Bloomfield Lions Club Secretary Evelyn Thomas said her husband, club President Keith Thomas, heard of Milleigh's situation and brought it before the club.
"We found out about this little girl last fall through words through the community," Evelyn Thomas said. "He started wanting to do something then ... he's been the big push. Our club is a small club, so we enlisted help of the Holts Summit club who were very anxious to help, as well as FFA. We knew it would take a good effort."
The auction will include items made by FFA students including a porch swing and a garden arbor, as well as donated items such as passes to the Callaway Speedway.
Milleigh was 3 months old when her parents found her not breathing in her crib during a nap in August 2013. Her parents performed CPR and resuscitated her before she was taken to St. Mary's Health Center in Jefferson City, where she began having seizures.
She was flown to a hospital in St. Louis, where she was hooked up to a continuous EEG for eight days and continued to have non-visual seizures. An MRI eventually showed 70-90 percent of Milleigh's brain had been affected, and she was diagnosed with spastic quad cerebral palsy.
The condition has been described as the "most severe form of cerebral palsy," often associated with moderate to severe intellectual disability.
"It is caused by widespread damage to the brain or significant brain malformations," according to ninds.nih.gov, site of the Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Children will often have severe stiffness in their limbs but a floppy neck. They are rarely able to walk. Speaking and being understood are difficult. Seizures can be frequent and hard to control."
Now 1 year old, Milleigh has responded positively to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a form of therapy where she breathes pure oxygen in a pressurized room. The family says she can now focus on muscle development without constant pain. Doctors say if her parents had not found her when they did, she would not be alive.
The only cost is for dinner or auction items, and an offering will be accepted before the concert.
Updates can also be found at Milleigh's Facebook page, Milleigh's Miracles.