FORSYTH COUNTY - An 8-month-old Forsyth County girl with a rare heart condition is undergoing treatment in Boston, but there are ways for local residents to help.
Earlier this month, Mary Beth Scott underwent her second open heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. Her mother, Allison Christopher, said the infant was born with one rare condition and later diagnosed with a second.
"She was born with double ventricle right outlet, hypo plastic left ventricle," Christopher said. "So she basically has three chambers instead of four, and her left atrium is extremely underdeveloped. And she was diagnosed in November with pulmonary vein stenosis.
"She's got a lot working against her, but she's obviously been fighting very hard, since she's still here."
Mary Beth is recovering from her surgery in Boston, where it's likely she will remain for some time.
"We spoke to her surgeon yesterday, and we're hoping to hear when she is going to get her chest closed, since they had to reopen it," Christopher said. "Once her chest is closed, we'll go from there. But the surgeon said we are looking at least another month in the [cardiac intensive care unit] for her to recover."
Once Mary Beth is out of the intensive care unit, Christopher said, the family would move to "the step-down unit, where we would be there another month."
"Then we had discussed staying around a couple of weeks after she was released, because pulmonary vein stenosis is recurring and it is very rare, and they don't know too, too much about it," she said.
Not surprisingly, the family has incurred numerous expenses, including medical and other bills. A GoFundMe account under the name Mary Beth's Heart Journey has raised more than $6,000 for the family in the past month.
"We've got, obviously, all of our bills at home that we still have to pay, even though we're not living in our home," Christopher said. "We still have [four] other children to take care of, their needs as well.
"Then we have expenses out here where we have to eat and drive back and forth to the hospital, a place to stay and all of that."
Christopher expressed gratitude for the community's help.
"We've already had a lot of support from neighbors, friends and our church for Christmas," she said. "Our kids had an excellent Christmas since we weren't able to shop and buy them gifts and whatnot with all this going on."
Christopher added that a county resident who will be running the Boston Marathon in Mary Beth's honor this April has set up a savings account to help the child. Donations can be made under Mary Beth's name at any Regions bank location.
Those looking for updates on Scott and other ways to help can go to Mary Beth's Heart Journey on Facebook.
Letters can also be sent to Mary Beth Scott, Boston Children's Hospital, 8 South - CICU 300, Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115.