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Tucson baby with rare condition coming home for Christmas

Posted at 4:44 PM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 12:36:04-05

A newborn baby from Tucson will be home just in time for Christmas after spending her first weeks of life at the Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Baby Ella was born on October 28th at Tucson Medical Center and two weeks after birth - she was diagnosed with the rare condition, Hyperinsulinism.

The condition occurs in 1 out of 50,000 newborn babies. 

Her mother, Carol ValleCalle says, "knowing that she's cured and I'm here - is surreal, it's the most beautiful blessing."

Hyperinsulinism can lead to seizures, developmental delay, and permanent brain damage if it's not treated. 

A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse noticed that Baby Ella was jittery - one of the symptoms of Hyperinsulinism. 

Baby Ella's sugar levels were tested at a low of 19 - Newborns are supposed to be over 50. 

Doctors at T-M-C told the parents that the best option would be a Children's Hospital in Texas.

"It wasn't a matter of  'oh, you guys should take her to Texas, it was we're going to fly her to Texas'," says Vallecalle. 

With the Holidays around the corner and the news that Baby Ella and mom would spend six weeks in Texas - the spirit of Christmas was slowly fading away. 

"I thought I was going to be there forever," says Vallecalle. "I told my son - you know, 'Mami might not be here for Christmas, and you might have to fly over here, and he says, 'I don't want to because Santa is not going to know where to bring my presents.'"

But it was the Doctors at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas that gave the Vallecalle family the best gift of all. 

Doctors were able to pinpoint where in the Pancreas the issue was for the baby. "Fairly quickly, they said - good news it's a focal disease we can go in, remove it and wait for recovery." 

"They had promised that they were going to do all that we could to have us go home for Christmas and when they said she's ready for discharge it was amazing. I could come home to my other baby and husband," said Vallecalle. 

Mrs. Vallecalle says, she is grateful to the staff at Tucson Medical Center

Baby Ella will live a normal life after surgery. 

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