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Columbus family struggling to save life of unborn child with rare heart condition

COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) - A Columbus family is fighting for the life of their unborn baby after the baby was diagnosed with a rare heart condition.

Madison Riley is 25 weeks pregnant  and says only weeks ago during an anomaly scan did she and her husband learn of the condition.

Since then, the mother-to-be has been to several appointments to learn a surgery in Boston is what can make a difference.

"This has all kind of been a big shock and whirlwind and emotions have been everywhere. I've just tried to stay calm and not stressing him out, but just been praying and thanking everyone for all of their prayers," says Riley.

The heart condition, known as Shone's Complex, means the infant is losing function to a portion of his heart. The left side of baby Rhett Riley's heart is suffering and losing function.

The procedure that would happen in Boston would go through the mother's stomach and into the baby's heart. The surgery is so rare that the family is facing another roadblock. 

 "We just found out Friday afternoon that insurance had denied it, because it is a rare procedure and it's really high risk so we are having to come up with 75 percent of the surgery cost before hand," says Riley. 

That's $14,100 out of pocket, and all that is needed to schedule the surgery.

A Facebook page is bringing in an outpouring of support and starting to bridge the gap.

"It's been huge, I've already had several officers contact me and share Rhett's journey and post very nice things and sharing the post on Facebook, but It's a lot more than I expected There's a lot more people that care about me as person, but my son who is not even born yet so it's amazing," says Jon Riley, Rhett's father-to-be.

Loved ones have put together something special to say "Thank You" for everyone who is donating and offering prayers.

A special blanket is being made for baby Rhett and it will have everyone's name who has contributed to his health.

"He'll always have it. Every procedure that they go to, you know he can take is blanket and know who was praying for him, how many people were praying for him and people that helped him along the way," says the baby's aunt, Lauren Fowler.

The Rileys are still raising money for the surgery. If you would like to contribute, you can find the information here.


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