Like Charlie Gard, A Hospital Gave Up on Baby Dezmen and Said He Was Not Worth Saving

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 4, 2017   |   6:43PM   |   Washington, DC

An American family is refusing to give up on their desperately ill infant son, much like Charlie Gard’s parents did.

Dezmen Licea was born on June 26 in California, and had heart surgery on the first day of his birth, his father, Luis Licea, said. The infant was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect called Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR).

His family said Dezmen, or Dezi, is on life support, but he already has lived longer than doctors expected.

“Don’t let them put my baby to sleep forever.. I know there is someone out there in this world that can help him.The more we share the bigger chance of someone hearing me…” his father wrote in a desperate plea on Facebook.

Live Action News notes Dezi’s parents are facing some of the same attitudes as as the parents of British infant Charlie Gard. Charlie died last week after a judge ordered that his ventilator be removed. His parents wanted to take him to the United States for an experimental treatment, but the hospital and courts refused to allow it.

“In both Charlie’s and Dezi’s cases, hospitals, which are supposed to provide medical care, especially to the most innocent and defenseless, seem to have suggested that infants with health struggles are not worth saving. But Charlie was worth saving, and so is little Dezi,” Rebecca Downs wrote.

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The blog continues:

Dezi was transferred from a hospital in Bakersfield to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, but Valley was unable to do more for him. Despite setbacks, Dezi fought his infection and has improved. The family appealed to various hospitals to admit Dezi, but were refused due to Dezi being considered “high risk.” However, on August 1, the family received the news that Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida, has agreed to admit their little boy. No doubt Luis and Alicia’s persistence paid off.

Dezi will need a heart transplant soon, and his family is raising money for his medical care through a GoFundMe page.

His parents said they are not the type of people to ask for money, but they are desperate to give their son a chance at life. They said the money will pay for transportation costs and the cost of his heart transplant.

“We are fighting for him and also reaching out to other hospitals….this experience is emotionally draining and a big eye opener, I humbly ask for help financially as the bills to keep my son fighting are pretty overwhelmingly,” his father said.

They also are using the hashtag #heart4dezi to raise awareness about their son’s situation. On Thursday, Luis Licea said they hope to transfer Dezi to the Florida hospital on Friday.

“PLEASE if you can continue to pray for our son DEZMEN LICEA..We would appreciate .. THANK YOU,” he wrote on Facebook.