CANBY - Having a baby is a big change in a person's life, but for Canby residents Jarrett and Brittany Pridal, that's been an understatement.
"It's a complete lifestyle change, everything from cooking to traveling," Brittany Pridal said of she and her husband Jarrett's new daughter Braylee. Not long after Braylee was born in early April, she was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder that will affect her for the rest of her life.
A benefit to help cover medical costs for Braylee is being held in Porter on June 30.
Photo by Deb Gau
Brittany and Jarrett Pridal sat with their baby daughter Braylee while she napped at their home in Canby this week. Braylee was born with rare metabolic disorder, and a benefit is being held to help the family with medical costs.
Brittany Pridal said Braylee appeared to be a healthy newborn at first.
"It was pretty much right before we were supposed to go home (from the hospital)," she said, when nurses and doctors found Braylee's temperature and blood sugar levels were low. Further testing showed she had a rare genetic condition - so rare that doctors in Sioux Falls weren't familiar with it, Jarrett Pridal said.
"There's only one specialist, and he's in Oregon," he said.
Braylee was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder called LCHADD, short for "long chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA deydrogenase deficiency." Children born with LCHADD are unable to break down certain kinds of fats into energy. Brittany Pridal said Braylee can't get energy from fats in her food or stored in her body, so it's very important that her blood sugar doesn't get too low. She will need to eat frequently and stay on a special low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet her whole life.
After consulting with a specialist in Portland, Ore., doctors were able to work out a diet plan for Braylee using a special baby formula called Enfaport. As Braylee gets older, she will need to have checkups every few weeks, Brittany Pridal said. The positive thing, the Pridals said, is that Braylee is healthy and growing at a good rate.
"She's been putting on weight just the way the doctors want," Brittany Pridal said.
The Pridals said they're prepared for the extra work needed to help Braylee cope with her condition as she grows up.
"It's just how it is," Jarrett Pridal said. But, he said, there will still be challenges. Besides the cost of visits to the doctor, Braylee's formula is expensive, and not covered by insurance. "They said they don't cover food," Jarrett Pridal said.
The Pridals said it's been good to have loved ones' support, during the past three months, and the family is hoping for a good turnout at the benefit.
Brittany Pridal said they've gotten a lot of questions about Braylee's condition.
"I think it's hard to fully understand," she said. However, she hoped the benefit would be an opportunity for people to learn more.
The benefit planned for Braylee will start with beanbag sign-ups and a silent auction at 3:30 p.m. June 30 at the Porter Community Hall, followed by a barbecue pork supper at 5 p.m. A benefit fund account has also been opened for Braylee at Wells Fargo Bank in Brookings, S.D. For more information on the benefit or to make donations, contact Karol Haas at (605) 520-8294 or Tess Pridal at (507) 530-6298.