Deadline Today for Benefit at Bent CreekCC to Help Local Family

Adam Maldonado, 2, of Lititz, squealed with delight at the sight of planes flying overhead, bouncing excitedly in his wheelchair as rays of California sunshine danced on his blonde hair when his parents wheeled him from Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, to the Ronald McDonald House across the street.

The short jaunt last week marks the first time the Lititz toddler had been outside since October, when his parents brought him to a Stanford hospital for a specialized surgery during what was expected to be a 10-day stay. After the procedure, he suffered cardiac arrest. His parents are grateful he has survived.

Adam’s story was first featured in a December 22 article on dr-feelgoods.com as part of a series about local families in need of assistance from the community. Jerry, who works at Wilbur Chocolate, and Leigh, a school bus driver for a local district, are both away from work without pay.

“God is good,” said Jerry Maldanado, Adam’s father, by text message Monday night.  “He has showed us that Adam has a purpose in this world. We are forever grateful and thank the Lord for the gift of life.”

Although he’s a step closer to coming home to Lititz, he still has a long way to go, both in terms of treatment and travel logistics.

“He is on about 30 doses of meds a day as well as 2 different breathing treatments, but he takes it like a champ,” said Leigh. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be readmitted briefly for additional tests then return to outpatient care prior to being discharged to fly home.

The family is uncertain where funds will come from for the flight home, and for expenses they will incur both before and after they can leave California, which is why the Saturday fundraiser is so critical to the family’s financial picture.

Family friends Maria Klein, Tanya Coonan and Stephanie Hoffman-Rainar are counting on the community’s continued support through this Saturday’s dinner and silent auction at Bent Creek Country Club to make a difference for the Maldanados.

“They’re on the other side of the US, away from their home, their son is in the hospital, [and] they have no income,” said organizer Maria Klein, whose 5-year old son suffers from congenital heart disease. “I can’t even imagine how they’re dealing with all that pressure.”

Those interested in attending the benefit should contact email Klein today at haveaheartforadam@gmail.com.

The family has been relying on the generosity of individuals in the community and donors to their GoFundMe page to pay their bills while battling to bring Adam back home, with their insurance reportedly declining to pay the cost of a medical transport flight.

Adam’s discharge last week coincided with Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. He has joined his family at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto, where they have been living since October.

“Adam is doing very well,” said mom Leigh Maldanado in a message to dr-feelgoods.com Friday night. “He is enjoying being part of the family again and being out of the hospital,” she wrote. She aims to raise awareness of CHD as the most common birth defect in the US, affecting 1 out of every 100 newborns.

Although 70 people are slated so far to attend the fundraiser at Bent Creek Country Club on Saturday, organizers hope that there are at least 50 more in the community who have a heart for helping the family. Ideally, they’d like another 150 individuals to make their reservation today. Organizers would also like to see more Lititz and Lancaster County businesses step up to support the family.

“We are hoping that with the money raised and gift cards donated we are able to give the Maldonados a warm welcome back home,as they are getting closer and closer to coming back now that Adam is discharged from the hospital,” Klein messaged dr-feelgoods.com this morning.

The cost is $125 for couples and $62.50 for singles, and the event is open to the public. The women are hoping to host 220 guests at the gathering that will feature a catered Italian buffet, a candy table, and a DJ.

Silent auction prizes include a Wilbur Chocolate gift basket donated by Cargill Cocoa, a gift basket from Sturgis Pretzel, sunglasses from Wertsch Vision Associates, a 3-month membership to Universal Athletic Club for a family of 4, silver earrings from Brent L. Miller Jewelers, and numerous gift certificates.

Guests who would like to attend or businesses who would like to donate merchandise or services need to contact Maria today at haveaheartforadam@gmail.com.  Those who wish to assist but are unable to attend may donate directly to the family via the GoFundMe account which may be accessed by clicking here.