Barren County Baby Hopes to Beat the Odds

A Barren County baby is attempting to beat the odds.

Ava Grace Milam weighed less than four pounds when she was born because of a fetal stroke.

Fetal strokes are so rare that according to a Yale University study, only 54 cases have been reported in the last 25 years.

We talked to Ava's mother about a stem cell treatment that would change her daughter's life.

Tami Milam named her daughter Ava Grace because it sounds like "Amazing Grace."

Ava suffered a stroke while she was still in her mother's womb.

"They didn't know at the time how bad, but they knew it was bad," Milam said.

Doctors found blood in Ava's brain and her body had stopped growing after the stroke.

"They asked for an abortion because they didn't know if she'd be able to do much more because of brain damage," Milam admitted.

Instead, Ava's parents gave their daughter a chance at life and she has beaten the odds.

"She shows emotion. They said she wouldn't be able to do that--that she would just exist, is what they told us," she continued.

Ava laughs, cries and eats like normal babies, even though doctors had predicted she'd need a feeding tube.

But the stroke did affect Ava's speech and movement, and at ten months old, she still can't crawl or push herself up.

She is also showing signs of cerebral palsy.

"That's all I'm asking for is a chance--a chance to live and not to just stay like this for the rest of her life," Milam said.

That chance will come in the form of umbilical cord stem cell treatment .

The match will be made in California and the injection done in Mexico because the procedure isn't approved by the FDA.

Milam says for Grace, she's willing to do whatever it takes.

"Because life is so much more than this, and I want her to experience all of this," Milam assured.

The stem cell injections will cost the Milam family $16,000.

If you'd like to donate to help baby Ava, you can contribute to the Ava Grace Milam Fund at any South Central Bank.


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