Two-year-old Siena is full of energy and laughter. Like most children her age, she loves to run and play—But what you can’t see, is Siena is living with a rare condition called congenital sucrose-isomaltase deficiency. “The problems didn’t really start to show up until we started trying to give her food. She became violently ill. The more we tried, the sicker she got,” explained Siena’s mom, Jodi Fulton.
In addition to CSID, Siena has numerous food allergies restricting her diet. “The hardest part is trying to find a food that she can eat. In December of last year, my milk supply started to drop, and the amount of milk that she required was on an increase because obviously she was getting older and burning more calories,” Jodi said. So she started looking for donor breast milk.
“Lee Health is a donor milk depot so that mothers can bring their breast milk here and we’ll send it to the milk bank who actually pasteurizes it and sends it back to us,” said Elizabeth Futral, a pharmacy technician with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Golisano Children’s Hospital partners with the Mother’s Milk Bank of Florida to make sure premature babies and children like Siena get the nutrients they need. To qualify to be a donor, mothers need to fill out a questionnaire, submit to a screening process, and be in good health.
“I’ve pumped for over two and a half years, and I understand how much time and dedication it takes, and these women are doing it for children that they’ve never even met before,” said Jodi.
A sacrifice Jodi is truly grateful for. Without breast milk donations, Siena’s life would be in jeopardy. “Our daughter literally would not be here today if it wasn’t for those moms. Words are simply not enough to even express how much of a blessing it has been to my husband and myself in sustaining our daughter,” she said.
Lifesaving donations that, for now, Siena needs to keep growing and thriving.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.