This morning a sweet little girl from Croatia has boarded an airplane that will take her to Chicago for life-changing brain surgery. The journey and operation is being made possible by generous donations from hundreds who have rallied behind 5-year-old Stephanie Milda.
Stephanie has been diagnosed with a severe brain disorder called Arnold-Chiari malformation, a congenital defect at the base of the brain affecting brain fluid regulation. The painful condition causes symptoms such as difficulty with balance and coordination, dizziness, vision problems, numbness, headaches, and muscle weakness.
After surgery and treatments in the Croatian capital of Zagreb failed to improve her condition, the Milda family turned to experts in the United States for options. David Frim, MD, Ph.D., Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Comer Children’s Hospital at University of Chicago Medicine, agreed to treat little Stephanie. Dr. Frim is an expert in congenital anomalies of the nervous system and has specific experience operating on Chiari malformations.
The cost of the operation and related expenses was far beyond what most families could possibly hope to afford. In a heart-warming expression of community support, fundraisers took place in Zadar and all across Croatia to help provide for the treatment cost. Contributions were collected in the amount of 2.58 million kuna (approximately $450,000 dollars).
The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 27, 2012. While the costs of the surgery have been met, those still wishing to donate to help with the family’s out-of-pocket expenses or continuation care needs are asked to make donations to the following fund:
ERSTE & STEIERMAERKISCHE BANK
ŽIRO RAČUN BANKE 2402006-1031262160
S.W.I.F.T CODE ESBCHR22
BROJ RAČUNA 3102360581
Expressions of support can also be sent to the Stephanie’s parents: email@example.com
Images courtesy of: Slobodna Dalmacija