Support and prayers for Altso Ni Bah Lucy Keeswood (“Lucy”), have been strong thanks to a grass-roots campaign on Facebook to help her parents from Minneapolis, Minnesota afford a hotel room so Lucy’s family can be with her as she continues her journey.
Lucy was born on October 6, 2012 in Farmington, New Mexico. Within an hour after her birth, Lucy was whisked away to a hospital in Albuquerque, where she was later diagnosed with Trisomy syndrome.
Her parents Mashugashon (“Mesha”) Camp (Lakota/Ponca/Hopi) and Sheldon Keeswood Sr. (Navajo/Eastern Band of Cherokee) have been be her side in the hospital’s small intensive care unit (ICU) for days. Today they moved into a hotel room at La Quinta, so all her family can be around Lucy as she fights to live.
On Wednesday, the family posted to the Facebook campaign Lucy’s Journey:
“Trying to Brace ourselves. Hoping & Praying for a Good Outcome of the Test Results.. The devastating news was confirmed that Baby Lucy does have Trisomy syndrome [sic].. All Meds to help her Heart pump, Oxygen, etc will cease tomorrow.. We have the option to take her & be with her in her Final Hrs/Days or continue her stay her until she leaves on her Journey…
The cords were removed from Baby Lucy & was moved to her own Isolated room. Family shuffled half asleep out of th NICU . Have to begin looking for a Hotel Suite so Baby Lucy can be surrounded by Family when she takes her last Breath..”
Keeswood’s mother and sisters created the Facebook support page to keep family and friends informed of Lucy’s condition and to request financial assistance. “This room ended up being $164 a night, so we were only able to get it for three nights,” Camp told Indian Country Today Media Network. “It is our goal to raise enough money to stay here for the week n go from there…” Camp wrote on the Facebook page. The family additionally hopes to get a second room for their three children to stay with their aunties.
Trisomy syndrome is a fatal genetic condition in which “different organs don’t form right,” Camp explained. “Her organ, she has problem with her heart—lesions on one of her arteries and one of her valves doesn’t open properly. …Trisomies [sic] don’t make it long,” Camp said.
So far, Lucy “is still fighting to stay with us,” Mesha wrote.”[S]he has actually been more stable here than while we were at the hospital….”
“They were numerous times in the hospital that they said she was leaving, and she just proved them wrong,” Camp told ICTMN. “She brought herself back once when they took away her oxygen and everything. At that point, she was in her dad’s arms. Sometimes she would forget to breathe. But everytime he talks to her, she’ll come right back to her dad’s voice.”
For now, the family is trying to stay strong. “We’ve been trying to stay positive,” Keeswood said. “There are moments when we break down and start crying, because we want to help her but we can’t. We’re her parents, but we can only make her comfortable and love her.”
Meanwhile, a community on Facebook is generating support. Lucy’s Journey Facebook page has nearly 400 “likes” and the campaign has been shared on Facebook nearly 300 times. Friends are rallying to their support, such as Dallas Goldtooth, who posted about Lucy and her family on his Facebook wall. “…[T]hey need money to help defray the cost” of the hotel room, he wrote.
Many others are sending their blessings for strength and healing. Janelle DaChief Love posted, “I smudged for your baby, Lucy…tonight.”
Lucy was named after her father’s two grandmothers, Altso Ni Bah and Lucy. Her first name refers to a woman warrior in Navajo. It means “when she’s done with the fight,” Camp said.
To find out more about Lucy and her family, visit facebook.com/LucysJourney, and to donate to her cause, the family has an “I Love Lucy” Well’s Fargo donation account #7939197740.