Baby girl seriously ill; community rallies to help Chino Valley police officer’s family
Family is appreciative of outreach, support
CHINO VALLEY – In the two years Chino Valley Police Officer Steve Farmer has worked in this small, rural town he has always felt the strong support of the community for its law enforcement personnel.
He, though, could never have imagined the outpouring of love and generosity he and his family would experience after his 1-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, was rushed by helicopter to Phoenix for emergency surgery on Thursday, Aug. 11, because of a serious intestinal malfunction.
“It’s amazing what we’re receiving from the community and the Police Department,” Farmer said in a telephone interview from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Sunday afternoon.
Farmer and his wife, Stephanie, and Gabrielle’s 4-year-old sister, Juliana, on Sunday were awaiting results of yet another surgery after the baby developed blood clots in her legs and was having difficulty with her injectable medication.
“We’re in a wait-and-see,” Farmer said of his daughter’s condition and prognosis.
Gabrielle underwent her first emergency surgery not long after Farmer got off shift on Thursday. Farmer came home to find that his infant daughter was lethargic, and suffering from bloody diapers. Within the next few hours, the baby girl was undergoing surgery that required removal of 60 percent of her colon and 4 percent of her small intestines.
On Saturday, Farmer said the doctors thought Gabrielle’s condition had improved such that she could be removed from intensive care, but complications developed such that a day later she required more surgery.
Doctors initially predicted a seven- to 10-day hospital stay; now Farmer said everything is uncertain.
“It’s very scary,” Farmer said. “She’s obviously in a lot of pain, and she doesn’t understand what’s going on.”
He said her big sister, too, is confused and upset.
“She doesn’t know why she’s can’t hold her or play with her,” Farmer said.
What is buoying the family’s spirit is the community’s emotional embrace that has included a GoFundMe account that in just one day raised more than $10,000 to help with what is expected to be considerable medical expenses beyond what the family’s insurance plan will cover.
For certain, Farmer said this is a difficult time for the family, but he and his family so appreciate all those who are offering prayers, sending messages of encouragement through social media and donations, some of them coming from complete strangers.
“It’s such a comfort to have all this support,” Farmer said. “People we don’t even know are jumping in to help.”
As for the Chino Valley Police Department, they are relying on social media to spread the word and encourage continued support of this family who will require assistance long after Gabrielle is able to return home.
“Tough road. Keep praying,” declared one of the GoFundMe account department updates.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so through this website: https://www.gofundme.com/2jjydrw