Low Country Family Needs Help for Sick Child - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/18/05

Low Country Family Needs Help for Sick Child

Ana Maria Bennett Ana Maria Bennett

You want the best for your kids. So what if their lives were literally on the line? That's one mother's battle to save her daughter in Okatie, South Carolina.

Ana Maria Bennett looks and acts like your typical 21-month-old. But little Ana has endured a lot in her short life. She's undergone numerous tests and therapies to help figure out why she's not hungry or thirsty.

"She just doesn't display signs of hunger or thirst," said her mother, Emmy Bennett. "She eats for social reasons. She might swallow one or two bites a day. She might drink an ounce."

At first, doctors thought her severe reflux disease was causing the problem, but even after surgery the problem didn't go away. Now Ana carries a feeding tube in her backpack to at least give her some nourishment.

"She's on a pump that feeds her every three hours, three ounces every three hours, five times a day," explained Emmy. "She's on a continuous feed at night."

But Emmy knows things can't go on this way. "She could have a rare disease everyone is overlooking, because they don't have the clinical backup or research. Until she's diagnosed, there's no way to tell, will she go on or will she stop?"

Emmy says Ana's doctors are stumped and are recommending she go to the Kennedy Krieger Institute at John Hopkins. However, Medicaid can't pay for it because the treatment is out of state.

Although Emmy understands, she wants the best for her daughter and is asking for the community's help. "If everybody in Beaufort County gave $2, Ana could go. I'm just begging people $2 from everybody."

It's request Emmy hopes her community will heed, and help save her little girl's life.

Just to get an appointment, the family has to come up with $1,800, and testing and treatment could cost thousands more. If you'd like to help, you can donate at any Wachovia Bank in the nation.

Ana's website is www.helpcureanamaria.com. Prayers and donations accepted.

Emmy Bennett can be reached at 843-304-3669.

There's a pool tournament fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds going to Ana, at Parkway Billiards Club in Bluffton, 843-757-4779, November 5 at 1pm.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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