This child born weighing one pound is one of over a thousand helped by Dream House for Medically Fragile Children.
LILBURN, Ga- Children with extensive medical needs and no families have become the latest victims of our challenging economy.
The Dream House for Medically Fragile Children in Lilburn has suspended operations. The one of a kind, non-profit operation is 400-thousand dollars in debt thanks to state budget cuts and dwindling donations.
"Without a benefactor or corporate sponsor or someone willing to make it happen, it's very difficult," said founder Laura Moore. "That's what we've not been able to find."
The Dream House for Medically Fragile Children has struggled financially since day one. Moore said over the last six months, the debt became too much. State budget cuts meant less money from Medicaid. Then, there were the donations that have dropped drastically in recent years.
For the past decade, the home has cared for children with medical problems who have either been abandoned by their parents or put up for adoption. The operation is unique in that it searches for adoptive parents, then trains the new family how to deal with the child's medical needs.
Laura Kate Coker weighed a pound at birth, the product of drug addicted parents. The home took her in and found her a new family.
"This place absolutely saved her life," said adoptive parent Kelly Coker. "She would not be here if not for Dream House."
Children who were staying at the home have been taken to hospitals or foster homes. The founder said it's likely that some who would have been helped by Dream House will now land in adult nursing homes.
"A lot of people don't know they're there," said Moore. "The staff on the unit becomes their family. It ends up being a lonely existence for the children."
Judy Hammett had hoped to adopt a 9-month-old on a ventilator and feeding tube who has now been moved to a hospital for care.
"I'm worried he'll either stay in the hospital or go to an inappropriate home for lack of a better placement," said Hammett.
Moore said finding corporate sponsorship is the key to reviving Dream House. The operation had a corporate sponsor once before, but the business itself went under.
To go to the Dream House for Medically Fragile Children's web site, click here.