Facebook Photo Josiah Barfield, a 5-month-old Dacula boy, was diagnosed in utero with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He has had two surgeries and will likely need a heart transplant. There are three fundraisers in the next two weeks to raise money to offset his family's medical costs.
Upcoming fundraisers for Josiah Barfield
Bake sale at the Snellville Farmers Market
Softball tournament at Dacula Park, 8 a.m.
Chick-Fil-A “Spirit Night” at 1559 Scenic Highway, Snellville
Mention “Josiah Barfield.”
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
DACULA -- A 5-month-old Dacula boy was recently taken off the active list for a heart transplant, but his mother said Tuesday that he will soon need a new heart because surgeries won't be enough to repair a congenital defect.
Josiah Barfield, born on Jan. 23, was transported to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston almost immediately after birth for his first surgery. He went home about two weeks later, but was back in the hospital in the cardiac intensive care unit in early April, where's he's stayed since, after doctors found that his heart did not work properly.
The defect, found in utero at 23 weeks, is called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and the surgeries were designed to make the right side of his heart do the work of both sides, his mother, Lacy, said.
To offset medical costs, and support the family because their bills are nearing an insurance cap, there are three community fundraisers scheduled in the next two weeks.
On July 13, there will be a bake sale at the Snellville Farmers Market and a softball tournament called "A Heart for Josiah" at 8 a.m. at Dacula Park. On July 17, the Chick-fil-A at 1559 Scenic Highway in Snellville will have a "spirit night" where 10 percent of the cost of each meal purchased between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. will be donated to the family for people who mention Josiah's name.
"It's been overwhelming, we're very blessed," Lacy said of the support. "It's encouraging and humbling all at the same time. People we don't know offer support."
Josiah's parents could be remembered by some who watched Lacy play softball at Central Gwinnett High and Anthony, his father, wrestle and play football at Dacula High before he joined the Marines. Anthony works at Jackson EMC as a field service representative.
She said Josiah is doing "really well" following a second surgery on Friday. Tuesday was the first time Lacy held her son following the surgery.
"I'm sure he enjoys it," she said. "He's definitely a cuddly boy."
Because it's difficult to find hearts for babies, the second surgery was designed to buy more time so Josiah can grow, so he would be eligible for a larger pool of donors, his mother said. The first surgery and blood transfusion built up antibodies that made it more difficult to find a match.
Lacy said their next hope is that Josiah makes a smooth transition to feedings because before surgery, he only had IV nutrition.
For more information, there is a Facebook page called "A Heart for Josiah."