Hingham community rallies around out-of-state family who traveled to Mass. for newborn son’s treatment

HINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A newborn baby boy and his family swaddled with support thanks to a community on the South Shore.

A family in North Carolina dropped everything to make the 13-hour drive to Boston to help their unborn son.

“For him, in utero, right around 34 weeks they noticed on an ultrasound his heart looked really large. And that’s how we found out he had Eein of Galen Malformation,” mother Shae Lewallen said.

She and her husband Ken immediately started looking at their options to treat the rare heart and brain disorder and the only one they found was at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The couple connected with the doctor and within three days they were on the road.

“The only thing that was on my mind was getting my wife to Boston for these appointments so that way our would be at the best place that he could possibly be at to give him the best chance that he could have,” Ken Lewallen said. “I wanted to give our son the best chance to live,”

With no place to stay, they turned to Facebook for help and ended up connecting with Karen Dean.

“My house was sitting empty in Hingham. So, I just sent a text to this woman, who I actually don’t even know, and I said, ‘Listen, we’re in Costa Rica. We’re probably gonna be here for another month or two. I’ll tell you where the hide-a-key is and this family is welcome to go to my house,” Dean said.

Then she reached out to her community on the Lewallen family’s behalf.

“I posted on the page and said this family is coming to my house, they need clothes for their kids, they need meals, they basically need us to adopt them as if they lived in our community,” said Dean.

And the community responded by filling up her garage with donations in just one day.

“I said Hingham is Pleasantville,” said Shae Lewallen. “And these people are way too nice.”

Dean works in the NICO and understands the stress a sick child can put on a family.

“This family, they didn’t have anything and they didn’t care. Because all they cared about was they knew there was this one doctor who was willing to operate on their baby as soon as the baby was born,” she said.

The family arrived in late February and baby Koby was born a few weeks later.

He has already had two brain surgeries.

The family will be staying in Massachusetts until he’s healthy enough to travel home and they say they are overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.

“Thank you is not even enough,” Shae Lewallen said. “I feel overwhelmed with how fortunate and blessed we’ve been to be aligned with so many good people who were just wanting to help us.”

The family has started a GoFundMe to help with their travel and medical expenses.

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