CINCINNATI (FOX19) - After a terrible tragedy nearly took the life of a local toddler, her family is fighting for a medical miracle and warning others about what happened.
The toddler, Bailey Grace, is only 18-months-old now, but she has already spent almost half of her life at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Bailey nearly died in June 2019. Melissa Mann, a family friend, says Bailey was in the care of a babysitter at a home in Clermont County. The babysitter, Mann explains, was giving Bailey and her brother a bath and walked out of the room for a moment.
She came back to find Bailey under water, Mann says, and then unresponsive for 15 minutes.
“A horrible, horrible accident that has just devastated," Mann told FOX19 NOW. "I just can’t even begin to tell you how hard it’s been.”
Bailey’s family was forced to make a tough decision, and they chose to keep fighting.
Bailey is alive, although she is now in a vegetative state and suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
“It’s a daily battle," Mann said. "She is on life support with a trach.”
Doctors do not know what Bailey’s future looks like, but her loved ones believe that her life has a purpose.
“Bailey survived when she shouldn’t have. We feel like she’s here for a reason," Mann said. "I mean, she did, she shouldn’t have even lived after that 15 minutes. She is a fighter.”
Bailey’s mother has been looking for anything that could help Bailey bounce back. Mann says she found something called HBOT, or Hyberberic Oxygen Therapy, that could help.
The oxygen treatment is not covered by insurance, Mann says, and is not FDA approved, but they are willing to try anything.
Bailey’s relatives are now working on raising the $10,000 it would take to give Bailey the therapy.
“She wants to live. You can see it," Mann said. "You can see it in her eyes, and we want her to live, and we want her to get that therapy.”
Mann says this tragedy should serve as a haunting reminder that leaving children like Bailey alone in water is never worth the risk.
“People just think they can multi task and think, ‘You know what? I can just do this, and I can do that, and it will be okay,’ but it’s not okay. It’s not. Slow down. These babies are in your care," Mann said. “It can happen. It does happen. It doesn’t just happen to the person down the road. It doesn’t just happen to me, a stranger. It can happen to your baby.”
There is a GoFundMe page in place to raise money to cover the cost of the oxygen therapy. The money will also help cover the cost of gas, food and other living expenses for Bailey’s family since they have been staying at the hospital.
Visit the GoFundMe here.