Baby Harbour in hospital. (Photo: GoFundMe)

VIDEO: Surrey baby may be youngest ever diagnosed with rare aHUS disease

GoFundMe campaign aims to raise funds for family while infant fights for his life in hospital

The day one’s child is born is always a precious one, but Joel and Brandi Reimer have been fighting to keep their son alive since his arrival.

The joy of their son Harbour’s birth brought concern for his health when doctors explained they believe he has an extremely rare immune disease called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).

It’s said the six-week-old could be the youngest person to be diagnosed with aHUS.

aHUS Canada says the condition is life-threatening and that “the immune system is always active, attacking the body’s cells” which can lead to serious problems such as blood vessel damage, abnormal blood clotting, and damage to major organs, including the kidneys, brain and heart.

“Harbour’s blood work showed low hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying red blood cells) and low platelets (the portion of your blood used for clotting), all of which is causing adverse effects on his kidneys,” Laura Wilson Morlang wrote on the GoFundMe page she launched to help raise funds to help the family while they focus on their son’s care.

So far, more than $12,000 has been raised, with a goal of $20,000.

Harbour, who was born five weeks early and only weighting four pounds and eight ounces, went home briefly but was soon admitted to Surrey Memorial Hospital, and eventually, B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“With some test results still pending, several doctors specializing in blood and kidneys believe his condition is called Atypical HUS – an extremely rare syndrome with all the same symptoms Harbour is displaying,” Morlang added.

According to the fundraising page, Harbour has had several partial blood transfusions to try to stabilize his blood levels and is being “monitored around the clock.”

“With Harbour in the hospital and his critical status, the family is working tirelessly,” said Morlang. “Harbour has four older siblings at home, and juggling both home and hospital life has required a partial absence from work. This has left the family with financial strain on top of concern for the well being of Harbour.”

Morlang described parents Brandi and Joel as “extremely kind and generous people.”

“They devote their lives to the well being of others and would never concern others with the severity of their situation,” she said. “Our attempt is to relieve them of some of their financial concerns, so they can focus on the proper care of their son. If you would like to give, we are extremely grateful and if not please pray for the healing of Harbour.”

On Friday morning, Morlang wrote that Harbour has been off dialysis and will hopefully start the “less aggressive form called peritoneal dialysis” Saturday morning.

Although, Morlang said that form of dialysis has a higher risk of infection and bleeding.

“It has been a tough day for him,” she added.

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In a video posted to Facebook on Nov. 12, Brandi noted one specialist said she hasn’t given up on Harbour’s kidneys.

“She’s seen kids come through this and regain some function so we’re going to hang onto that,” said Brandi. “In the meantime we’re just so aware that god’s power is made strong in our weakness. We are not strong and we are not god. We didn’t create anything and have no pull. We can only really trust.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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