Friends show ‘neighborly love’ for Seals family

By on July 30, 2010

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—When Meagan Seals of Elburn was born nearly seven months ago, her parents and doctors did not expect her to live more than two weeks. Her mother Luellen said Meagan has been a miracle baby, not just surviving but thriving to a degree no one imagined was possible. However, she still faces significant challenges.

Meagan was born with microcephaly, a rare neurological condition in which an infant’s head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age. Children with microcephaly often have developmental issues. She also has encephalocele, another rare disorder that prevents a baby’s skull from closing completely before birth. After Meagan was born, she had surgery to reinsert brain tissue and close the gap.

When Meagan was born, doctors also said the top part of her brain was missing. However, when Meagan had an MRI when she was 6 months old, the test showed that her upper brain was there.

“Her doctor believes she is a living miracle,” Luellen said.

Based on the conditions she does have, Meagan was not expected to be able to hold up her head or even drink from a bottle. But she surprised everyone when she could do both soon after her parents took her home.

Despite these miraculous milestones, Meagan is not able to sit up and faces many other developmental challenges in the future, her mother said.

“The doctors say she might get to a 2-year-old level,” Seals said. “They don’t think she will ever talk or walk.”

Earlier this summer, Meagan began experiencing up to five full seizures and 30 to 50 smaller spasms daily and had to be hospitalized. This month, she is receiving injections of a serum that costs $30,000 per vial. She still has the seizures but not every day.

Meagan’s parents’ goal is to provide her with whatever medication, medical equipment or therapy that will help her to develop as much as she possibly can.

Although their health insurance covered many of the hospital expenses for Meagan, the Seals still owe thousands of dollars in medical bills. In addition, they are concerned that insurance will not pay for equipment that will help Meagan in the future, such as a feeding chair that would support her in a sitting position, and water therapy.

Since Seals must care for Meagan full-time and the family has only her husband’s income, she is grateful that several of her friends are hosting a fundraiser Friday, Aug. 6, at Old Towne Pub and Eatery, to help with those expenses.

“It just shows that there are people in the world with good hearts,” she said. “It’s neighborly love.”

One of the fundraiser organizers is the Seals’ neighbor, Kim Cole. She wants to help raise awareness of Meagan’s condition and to raise money to help the Seals family.

“Meagan will have a life time of medical needs and expenses,” Cole said. “It’s more than the family is able to cover on their own. I am hoping the community will pull together and help them to help her.”

Fundraiser for Baby Meagan

Friday, Aug. 6 • 6 to 8 pm
Old Towne Pub & Eatery
201 W. State St., Geneva

Raffles and silent auctions
Tickets cost $25 per person

For reservations,
call Ali at (630) 605-1007 or
Jen at (630) 437-1985

Send donations to
“Praying for Baby Meagan”
Old Second Bank, P.O. Box 8018,
Elburn IL 60119-8018