Brantley teenager#039;s family needs help

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2006

A Brantley teen is in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, and his family is in dire need of support, both spiritually and financially.

Travis Baker, a 13-year-old Banks School student, has been diagnosed with a major staph infection of the lungs, according to Rev. Phil Hullar of 3 Tree Ministries in Brantley.

&#8220At first, they thought Travis had a really bad cold or the flu,” Hullar said. &#8220When they realized it was more serious, they sent him to Birmingham.”

Hullar said that Travis has been in ICU for almost 30 days. His mother, Deanna Holmes, had been staying in the waiting room of the hospital the entire time. Hullar said that there were no vacancies at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham.

&#8220She had to give up her job because she's staying at the hospital all the time,” Hullar said.

The doctors in Birmingham have determined that Travis will be on a ventilator the rest of his life because of the damage to his lungs and his chest muscles from the staph infection.

&#8220I was told that this was the most acute staph infection of the lungs the Birmingham doctors had ever seen,” he said.

A tracheotomy was performed on Travis March 29 to prepare him for the ventilator, which he is now on. He has one chest tube and a feeding tube.

&#8220According to the doctors, Travis will be in ICU for at least another two to three weeks,” Hullar said. &#8220But, it will be a minimum of three months before he can go home.”

Part of the reason for the extended hospital stay is because of the medical training his mother will have to undergo in order to learn how to take care of Travis and how to operate the ventilator.

&#8220The family has no health insurance, they've already been one month without any income, and now they're going to have to add about three more months to that before being able to bring him home,” Hullar said.

On March 30, Hullar took a cashier's check for $400 to Holmes, which helped to pay for three nights in a guest room at the hospital. The hospital guest rooms are $25 a day.

&#8220When I visited with Travis, I asked him if he wanted me to pray for him, and he nodded his head,” Hullar said. &#8220I held his hand, and at the end of the prayer, Travis said, ‘Amen.' It was really a great thing to see and hear.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the family should make checks payable to The Travis Baker Fund, 3 Tree Ministries, 11304 Opp Highway, Brantley, AL