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

Just Posted

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Image: Castleview Care Centre’s Safety Den presentation
Castlegar’s Castleview Care Centre wins safety innovation competition

The Dragon’s Den-style competition was sponsored by Safecare BC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

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

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read