Weekend benefit planned for 4-month-oldPublished 12:02pm Thursday, October 17, 2013
At this point, there isn’t a whole lot that could happen to Nicole Hurt that would be more painful than her last four months.
“I’ve already almost experienced the death of my son,” Hurt said. “There’s not much worse that it can get.”
The outlook could get just a little bit sunnier after this weekend.
A benefit for X’zander Hurt is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles #2339 Ship in Fergus Falls. There will be a spaghetti feed from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and music from 7 to 11 p.m. All donations at the event will go toward the Hurt family.
X’zander was born June 18 and had his first heart surgery when he was six days old. Hurt found out during her pregnancy that there were complications and X’zander would be born with serious health problems.
His left ventricle never developed, so he functions with three heart chambers instead of the usual four. Complications from an early surgery caused paralysis of his left vocal cord and he has dealt with several serious infections.
At this point, X’zander has had two heart surgeries and several other surgical procedures. A third heart surgery is set for later this month, which Hurt is nervous about but actually looking forward to as well.
“It’s not fun, but the one thing I keep in my head is that it’s the last one until he’s a toddler,” she said.
Indeed, doctors will have a better idea of X’zander’s outlook after this next procedure. Hurt said her son will more than likely be on a feeding tube for at least the first year of his life, but doctors may want to start weaning him off the oxygen he uses to breathe at some point.
The benefit was the brainchild of Hurt’s friend Melanie Stauty, who came up with the idea while Hurt was pregnant. Hurt has never been to a benefit and doesn’t know what to expect, but she said Fergus Falls has always been a very supportive community.
Donations will help Hurt pay for expenses incurred and expected. Almost all of X’zander’s appointments are at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, with the remainder at Essentia Health in Fargo.
For one trip, Stauty had to bounce her bank account to pay for gas.
Most of X’zanders medical expenses, which Hurt estimated total more than $150,000, have been covered by a Medica insurance policy. But Hurt has also had to cover some of the cost as well.
As of Wednesday night, 83 people had indicated they would be attending the event via Facebook. Hurt has also used Facebook to give frequent updates about X’zander’s condition and post pictures of her son. The response has been very positive.
“He’s got a lot of supporters and a lot of fans,” said Hurt, who added that her son is one of the more popular babies with the nurses at Children’s Hospital.
As much as Hurt has been through since June, she has tried to maintain a positive outlook. She broke down once during the pregnancy and has had countless terrified moments the past four months, but she takes solace in the fact that her son seems to be improving.
His color has returned to more normal, pink levels, rather than the darker purple or grey shades it has been at times. Hurt had a picture of her holding X’zander while he was very grey, but had to delete it because he looked too close to death to bear.
X’zander still smiles constantly and almost never fusses or cries, according to Hurt. Hurt’s other sons, Brody, 5, Julien, 4, and Liam, 1, have all taken to X’zander. The boys have visited X’zander in the hospital and Hurt said Liam often tries to give X’zander his blanket to comfort him.
These are the bonds that keep Hurt trying to look on the bright side. She is cautiously optimistic about the next surgery, but Stauty may have put it best when talking about their expectations.
“There’s just a lot of unknown,” Stauty said.
That goes for the benefit this weekend as well. Hopefully both the benefit turnout and the next surgery can victories in X’zander’s long-term battle.