Amauri Williams is doing better. He no longer needs the help of a machine to breathe. He’s sitting up in bed at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
He can even have visitors now, his mom relayed in a text message with double exclamation points.
“He’s so excited to see his friends,” she said.
The Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte, N.C., has space for the family, but Amauri’s heart rate was still too high late last week for him to be moved. His mother, Sarah Hemingway, said Monday that his heart rate –although still in the 140s – had come down enough for him to be transferred and the family hoped to leave Thursday.
The athletic 12-year-old has juvenile myocitis with myocarditis, a rare inflammation of the muscles, and cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart. He got sick at the end of a family vacation in June and his condition rapidly deteriorated as doctors struggled to figure out what had struck him down so suddenly.
When he was first hospitalized, his heart was in such bad shape there was talk of putting him on a transplant list.
But doctors figured it out and were able to treat him successfully. His next step is rehabilitation at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.
Doctors have told the family that Amauri could be hospitalized there for three months, so getting into the Ronald McDonald House was crucial to the cash-strapped family.
Amauri’s mother, who had been working two jobs, quit both to care for her son. She was about to begin the surgical technician program at Aiken Technical College but had to put it off. His father, Terry Williams, took leave from his job, as well.
A neighbor set up a fundraising page and North Augustans rallied to the family’s aid, contributing $12,856 as of Monday. The goal is $20,000. The link is: youcaring.com/amauriwilliams-869671.