Christmas Comes Early For Infant With Challenged Immune System

DYER, Ind. (CBS) — The parents of Seth Petreikis are calling it a Christmas miracle: surprise funding for a life-saving surgery.

After initially getting turned down by their state’s Medicaid provider, the parents found out Friday the cost will be covered, CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports.

Little Seth, who is five months old, fights for his life with each breath. He has a rare illness called DiGeorge Syndrome, which could make even catching a cold a serious health emergency.

He has a heart condition and no natural immune system because he was born without a thymus, which would teach his cells to fight. Visitors must wear masks and gloves.

The surgery to implant thymus tissue costs from $350,000 to $500,000 and is only done at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. The problem is, Seth’s family’s Medicaid provider in Indiana wouldn’t cover it, saying it was experimental, the baby’s mother, Becky, said.

“What are we going to do? Do we just sit and watch our baby die?” she said.

Friday, however, Seth’s mother got a phone call that could change Seth’s life. Her Medicaid provider had a change of heart.

“I think it’s just an amazing Christmas miracle,” Becky Petreikis said.

Becky and her husband, Tim, have gotten $150,000 in donations this week as their story received media attention.

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  • Amanda Carlin

    That is amazing. Very happy for you i hope all goes well for you and your family. I hope your child has a speedy recovery.

  • San Dlesho

    God Bless!!!!!!!! Prayers are with you and your family!!!!

  • Tom

    Consider this for a moment. If an inmate in an Indian State Prison had the same medical issue he would be operated on. No questions asked. What kind of people have we become?

  • Lindsey Roberson

    As the mother of a child who has a child with a chromosome disorder very closely related to your sons we feel for you. We are extatic that Seth can receive the help he need and we wish you and your family the best of luck.

  • Sherryl Richey

    Those donations prove what we all know. Americans are a generous, loving, giving people–even though we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

    btw, I don’t recall seeing info for people wanting to donate $.

  • Hannah Carter

    Congrats Tim and Becky! So happy for your little family – I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. Praying for Seth to be on of the 73 percent! Love, Hannah Carter

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