Valdosta police officers help co-worker's family -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta police officers help co-worker's family

September 5, 2003

Valdosta - Five month old Dane Turnmeyer is a miracle baby. "He's had two heart surgeries, but he's actually been opened up four times because of complications," said Tammy Turnmeyer.

Eleven hours after Dane was born, his parents noticed he was turning blue and having trouble breathing. The doctors diagnosed him with hypo-plastic left heart disorder. "He gets tired very easy, he has a feeding tube, and any little sickness like a cold can be deadly to him," said Tammy.

Only the right side of Dane's heart works. He's already had two open heart surgeries and is waiting on a transplant. "He's our little miracle, and we just enjoy and appreciate every moment we have with him," said Stephen Turnmeyer.

Since Dane's diagnosis, the Turnmeyer family has been back and forth to Egleston Hospital in Atlanta. The stress of traveling and high medical costs adds up, but Stephen's co-workers are helping out this weekend. "We're having what we call a family fun day with a car show, poker run, lunch, and all kinds of activities for the kids," said Lt. Brian Childress.

The festivities start Saturday morning at 9:00 at Mathis City Auditorium. The money will help pay for the Turnmeyer's frequent stays at the Ronald McDonald House and supplement household income if one parent has to quit their job. "I might not show it, but it means so much to me that they're pulling together and thinking about my family," said Stephen.

Dane's prognosis is questionable. He could get a new heart in six months or six years. But his family is optimistic their miracle baby will live a long and happy miracle life.

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