Skip to content

Chrystian’s head was spinning. This—was it!

Right on his birthday, before they even got to sing “Happy Birthday” or serve up his favorite Oreo cake, Chrystian’s fiancée, Cassandra, announced, “My water just broke.”

Three weeks ahead of his due date, tiny baby Jayden arrived at their local hospital in King City, California. He was immediately surrounded by a concerned care team.

“When Jayden was born, we saw his chest heaving so fast,” recalls Chrystian. “I had never seen a chest expand and contract like that before. We knew something was wrong.”

Their doctors identified a heart murmur and quickly called an ambulance to rush Jayden 126 miles north to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Even in the midst of uncertainty, Chrystian felt a sense of reassurance when he arrived in Palo Alto. “I knew we were in the best place possible,” he says.

In our neonatal intensive care unit, Jayden’s care team went to work, inserting a feeding tube and setting up machines to help him breathe.

Through those first few long, emotionally exhausting days, Jayden, Chrystian, and Cassandra relied on the support of family and social services—made possible by donors like you.

“Everything helped,” says Chrystian. “We had our own room to sleep in at the hospital so we could stay near Jayden. Our social worker gave us free meal vouchers. Every little bit helped because we don’t have a ton of money that we can spend right now.”

It was more than five days before Chrystian and Cassandra could hold their little boy for the first time.

“I was nervous to hold him,” recalls Chrystian. “He was so fragile; I didn’t want to hurt him or even put diapers on him at first. But I just couldn’t wait to kiss his face.”

Finally Jayden’s health stabilized and he was given the green light to head home with his family.

“The doctors told us that babies born with heart murmurs go on to be fine and lead healthy lives,” Chrystian says. Today, Jayden is 5 months old and doing well. “Now he’s my rough, tough alligator and I want to raise him to be a strong individual. Hopefully someday he can play sports, go on to college, and do well academically.”

To caring donors like you, who support our hospital and patients like Jayden, Chrystian says this: “Thank you for your generosity. Without your donations, I don’t think we would have gotten the great care that we did. There are a lot of families that travel a long way to this hospital, and I want to say how much we appreciate what you’ve given us."