Brent, Kendra and Zoey Uniat just before Zoey's surgery. Photo: submitted

Fundraiser started for Castlegar baby with rare genetic disorder

Zoey Uniat was born on Thanksgiving with breathing difficulties

The friends and relatives of a Castlegar family are hoping for a bit of a Christmas miracle.

While 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered by most for the COVID-19 pandemic, Brett and Kendra (Wayling) Uniat, will remember it for the birth of their amazing daughter Zoey, born on October 12, Thanksgiving Day.

Zoey is now 9 weeks old and last week was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS).

When Zoey is sleeping, her breathing becomes too shallow, causing her oxygen levels to drop and CO2 to build up in her blood. Zoey will always require breathing support when she is asleep, so on Dec. 10, she had surgery Children’s Hospital in Vancouver to put in a tracheostomy tube for breathing and a gastrostomy tube for emergency feeding. She is now healing well.

There are a number of serious health concerns that come with CCHS (the NPARMS mutation) but to date, Zoey hasn’t shown any signs. She has a high risk of developing neural crest tumors and will require frequent screening until at least the age of six. For now, Zoey is healthy and happy, other than her breathing.

Brett and Kendra are optimistic about how Zoey is progressing and now start training for her care at home after discharge, which will likely be mid to late January.

Friends and family have rallied behind the Uniats to help make their transition back to Castlegar as smooth as possible. Much support will be needed now, and in the future, to ensure that Zoey has the best life possible.

Hardship has come in many different forms in 2020 as most of us have been affected one way or another by the pandemic and it’s far reaching consequences. What Kendra, Brett and Zoey are dealing with is a life altering genetic syndrome that will require strict 24-hour monitoring for the foreseeable future and unfortunately, ventilation for life. The family will be looking for nursing support for overnights.

A fundraiser has been created to support the family on their incredible journey. As Christmas fast approaches, please consider helping out by donating whatever you can to bring this family home. You can donate to the “Help bring Zoey Uniat home” Go Fund Me page or by direct e-transfer to: Zoeyuniat@gmail.com.

Submitted by Kere MacGregor

castlegarfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

.
Eight weeks with no new COVID-19 cases in Castlegar

The latest localized BCDCD COVID-19 numbers

Katelyn Quiding and Chloe Coleman on Pink Shirt Day. Photo: Submitted
Student Column: February happenings at Castlegar’s high school

February was quite the month for SHSS and everyone was very busy… Continue reading

Coby Reid helped rescue this bobcat from where it had frozen to the train tracks. Photo: Coby Reid
Bobcat deliverer shares details from Kootenay train track rescue

Coby Reid helped rescue a bobcat that was frozen to train tracks near Waneta bridge

Eli Morton planting native species. Photo: Laurie Frankcom CKISS
Robson Scouts celebrate accomplishments

The Castlegar area Scout group had a busy year in spite of COVID-19

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read