MIAMI (CBS4) – After forty weeks of a healthy pregnancy, a challenging labor caused the Perez family’s newborn to stop breathing.
“She was left without oxygen for a period of 18 minutes and resulted in brain damage and she’s been diagnosed with cerebral palsy,” baby Javilez’s father, Javier Perez shared with CBS4’s Nicole Maristany.READ MORE: Report: 25 AR-15 Rifles Missing From Miami Police Department's Inventory
In a matter of minutes, the family’s life changed forever. They moved from Puerto Rico to the United States for better medical care for their daughter.
“I brought savings from Puerto Rico but right now the savings ran to the point that this month I have not paid the rent of the house,” said Perez.
Javier works two part time jobs to make ends meet, one at SunLife Stadium as a groundskeeper. His wife, Lizmel stays at home to care for their daughter and the medical bills continue to mount.
“We see it every day, the pride he that takes in his work day in and day out. And if you didn’t know it you would think everything was fine, and here he is dealing with a very, very serious issue at home,” said Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director for the Marlins Foundation.READ MORE: Body of Miami Teen Who Went Missing After a Run Found near Marina
The family has virtually nothing. Their home is nearly empty, without furniture or a kitchen table and they use a bean bag as a couch. But their most important needs are items to help Javilez thrive. So the Marlins started spreading the word and after hearing the story and Navarro Pharmacy stepped up, donating a portable oxygen tank.
“We take great pride in that, just a basic function of living, which is breathing for this little girl that is now going to allow her to not just breathe, but get out of her house a little bit more, to travel. Make it easier for her parents to take her to her doctor’s appointment, to her therapies,” explained Cristi Leon-Rivero, the Vice President of Marketing for Navarro.
Deeply appreciative, the family says it’s the support from others that helps them.
“And with all of my love, my whole family’s, friends’ and I ask God to continue giving me the strength to help her in whatever she may need,” Javilez’s mother, Lizmel Perez said tearfully.MORE NEWS: Hundreds Of Motorcycle Riders Ride From Doral To Key Largo For Good Causes
Although one and a half year old Javilez is thriving, she still needs special medical equipment. You can help the Perez Family through the Neighbors 4 Neighbors Family Fund by calling 305-597-4404 or making a secure credit card donation online here.