Raising funds for miracles

K of C Teddy Bear Drive aids family with premature baby costs

Bridget Ann Marie, the daughter of Anthony and Cecilia Ferk of Sleepy Eye, was born 14 weeks early, weighing two pounds and was 13 inches long.

The third annual Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Church Knights of Columbus Council Teddy Bear Drive benefits the Anthony and Cecilia Ferk family of Sleepy Eye to help with medical expenses for their daughter, Bridget Ann Marie, who was born 14 weeks early last fall.

Born Nov. 16, 2022, Bridget weighed two pounds and was 13 inches long. Her due date was Feb. 21, 2023.

Bridget’s birth was assisted at New Ulm Medical Center by the St. Paul Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team.

“I was very fortunate to be able to hold her to my chest for about 30 seconds immediately after giving birth to her,” Cecilia said.

Immediately rushed to the St. Paul Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Bridget was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease. Initially intubated, she was moved to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), then BiPAP (bilevel or two-level positive airway pressure).

Bridget Ann Marie, left, and her mother Cecilia and Anthony Ferk in a hospital room.

When her respiratory state worsened, she was intubated for a month and on three machines at high settings, to keep her alive. She also dealt with a brain bleed that required surgery to help drain excess brain fluid.

Bridget also had a heart murmur at birth that was treated with antibiotics. She has received many blood transfusions due to low hemoglobin levels.

The Ferks spent four months at St. Paul Children’s Hospital.

More recently, Anthony had to return to work and moved back to Sleepy Eye with daughter Genevieve. Cecilia lived in Bridget’s hospital room. With just one vehicle in the family, Anthony and Genevieve would visit Cecilia and Bridget on weekends.

On oxygen at home, Bridget has many follow-up appointments, requiring trips to St. Paul.

From left, Bridget, Genevieve, 2, Cecilia and Anthony Ferk in a hospital room.

“We are so extremely blessed with our little miracle Bridget,” Cecilia said. “The amount of prayers we have received for Bridget are for sure what has gotten her to this point. She is truly a miracle, especially when we didn’t think she was going to make it. We are so beyond blessed with this gift God has given us.”

Anthony Ferk is the Diocese of New Ulm Controller. Cecilia is a stay at home mom.

Donations and Teddy Bear purchases for $20 each can be made at many businesses in Sleepy Eye, Springfield, St. James, Redwood Falls, New Ulm, Leavenworth, Essig, Darfur, Comfrey and Cobden.

Online orders and donations can be made at www.osvhub.com/st maryssleepyeye/giving/


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