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Residents rally around infant fighting for her life in local hospital

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Central Texas residents are rallying around three-month-old Maddie Riley, who has been in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple for more than 40 days.

Her mother, Lakisha Riley, said her daughter’s heart stopped during a ride home from a checkup on June 3 during which doctors told her she had a healthy baby.

Riley and neighbors performed CPR on the infant until paramedics arrived.

Maddie was transported to McLane’s where doctors told her mother it took 30 minutes to get her daughter’s heart beating again.

“She has these big beautiful eyes. She was just so full of life, so happy,” Riley said.

Maddie is still in a coma, and Riley has spent every day by her side at the hospital.

Maddie’s grandmother, Pheobe Sams, said its been hard to watch her daughter go through this.

“I have my days where I just break down, I try not to let her see me like that but it has been hard,” Sams said.

The grandmother said the phone call she received from her daughter the day Maddie’s heart stopped still haunts her. “Hearing my baby on the other end of the phone screaming and crying saying hurry hurry, that’s something that you never want to hear as a grandmother,” Sams said.

Riley’s four other children have been staying with Sams. She says they sell candy bars to try and bring money in to help cover hospital bills, but above all, are looking for prayers.

“We go around the neighborhood to sell candy bars, and believe it or not every house we go to we end up joining hands with the people we meet and just praying,” Sams said.

They also started a fundraiser on SpotFund, where they say 100% of the money donated will be given to the family. They hoped the page would spread awareness to spark prayers, but have been shocked by the support from the community.

“People we don’t even know are donating, it’s so moving,” Sams said.

Riley said her daughter had just gotten several vaccines at the appointment on June 3. She said doctors tell her they think the baby contracted a virus that caused her to go into cardiac arrest.

They are doing what they can to keep her comfortable, as the family continues to stay hopeful.

“My baby now has a trach she’s breathing on a vent she has a G button,” Riley explained.

“Maddie is fighting shes a fighter. When I touch her little hand or her leg, she’ll squirm around. She’s there, she’s in there. We just need her to come back to us and open those little eyes,” Sams said.

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