This holiday season WBSM, the United Way of Greater New Bedford and great community sponsors like NBCU, Sam Karam & Sons, Lech Auto BodyFirst Citizens Federal Credit Union, Tremblay's Bus Company, and Pateakos & Poulin, PC have teamed up to pull off a Mini Miracle for one deserving, unsuspecting SouthCoast family.

DeSousa Familiy

Families of all backgrounds experience medical setbacks every day. Sometimes those setbacks take a toll financially on a family, and other times, they take a serious physical and mental toll. The DeSousa Family from Freetown has spent the last 12 months in and out of hospitals with their 14-month-old son, Zane.

After a number of tests and procedures, Zane remains undiagnosed and a medical mystery to doctors, creating a hold on insurance coverage for some of his care. Because of their unique situation, their family was nominated for a little bit of help this holiday season:

Mom is so drained. The one thing they all could use is sleep! It would be most helpful and amazing to get someone (g-tube trained/qualified) in there a few times a week to take care of Zane a few nights a week. Some nights he's awake for 2-5 hours and someone has to be close by because if he starts to cry and isn't soothed immediately, gas develops and his g-tube needs to be vented, which is taxing. Because he hasn't been officially diagnosed by any of the medical teams and also because he doesn’t require 2 consistent hours of care – he isn’t qualified for any assistance. Any overnight care becomes an out-of-pocket expense because it has to be private pay. 

 As of his one-year mark this December, he's had 40 inpatient days in the hospital, 37 clinic visits, 10 trips to the hospital, a g-tube, a CVI diagnosis (visual impairment), EKG's EEG, x-rays, hundreds of vials blood, a helmet, and a hearing aid. Doctors still cannot pinpoint what is going on. One of the services he does receive that helps him is Craniosacral therapy– but it’s also not covered by insurance so he goes just every other week. It would be great if he could go more often. After 12 months of around-the-clock care, it’s starting to take its toll and it would be great to give them some relief for the holidays.

For the past year, friends and family have stepped up to help make things easier, from taking turns to help with caring for the kids, making dinners, even plowing the driveway in case they need to make an emergency trip the hospital.

Help create a Mini Miracle for Zane and his "village" this holiday. Donations will help cover the cost of overnight in-home care (not covered by insurance), weekly craniosacral therapy sessions (not covered by insurance), and an iPad Pro to help engage Zane's vision, tracking, and gazing as part of his CVI program as recommended by the Perkins School for the Blind.  

Mom and Dad would love to reconnect and squeeze in more date nights. They love No Problemo, Frontera, El Mariachis, Ice House/Harpoon Room, and Brewfish.

Four-year-old Gavin would love to do more fun kid stuff; he loves Barrett's West Bridgewater Game Room, Edaville, and Round1 in the Galleria Mall.


Text to Donate: Text WISHES to 313131. You will be sent a United Way e-link that allows you to make a donation via credit card to this family when you select MINI MIRACLE from the drop-down menu.

By Check: Make checks payable to the United Way of Greater New Bedford and in the memo line, write MINI MIRACLE. Checks can be dropped off at WBSM studios during normal business hours or mailed to United Way of Greater New Bedford, 128 Union Street, Suite 105, New Bedford, MA 02740.

Donate by Credit Card: You can make a secure donation to the United Way via credit card HERE. Select MINI MIRACLE from the "Please Select a Family" drop-down menu.

Donations of Gift Cards can be dropped off at WBSM Thursday, December 6 and Friday, Dec. 7. Please leave a note saying the card is for MINI MIRACLE along with your name.

WBSM's Mini Miracle with the United Way of Greater New Bedford is an extension of the Annual Holiday Wish program. Families have been pre-selected. Support for this program is made possible by New Bedford Credit Union (NBCU), Sam Karam and Sons, Lech Auto Body, First Citizens Federal Credit Union, Tremblay's Bus Company, and Pateakos & Poulin, PC.

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