Baby in Jacksonville suffers rare medical ailments

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – Parents in Jacksonville are sharing the story of their 9-week-old daughter’s rare medical condition.

Fundraiser for Daniel Root by Matthew Root : Nicole’s GBS and Stroke Recovery Fundraiser (

Matthew Root describes his twin brother Daniel and sister-in-law Emma as caring, hardworking people involved in their community. Emma, owner of The Willow Creek gift shop in Jacksonville and Daniel, manager of Edenvale Winery, were forced to take a month off work. At only 18 days old, their newborn, Nicole, was diagnosed with a deadly bacterial infection, Group B Streptococcus. Nicole was rushed to Portland ‘s Doernbecher Hospital Pediatric ICU after she acquired bacterial meningitis, ventriculitis, and vasculitis, resulting in numerous seizures and strokes.

“Walking into the hospital rooms and seeing just about every piece of equipment you could fathom being hooked up to her to the point that you can’t even really see the baby anymore… you’re seeing equipment and wires and plugs and tubes… was devastating,” Matthew says.

Nicole’s only option to prevent further strokes was to undergo an experimental steroid treatment, while she fought off the bacterial meningitis with antibiotics. The financial and emotional toll have been high, Matthew says, three hundred and seventy thousand dollars has been billed to insurance already. But he says everyone has been doing their part to support the Root family.

“We as a family and our peers and support network have been bringing them food and casserole dishes and all types of stuff to just make it as easy on them to recover from this as possible,” Matthew says.

Nicole’s doctors, he says, predict learning disabilities and issues with motor skills. The Root family has plans for an in-home pediatric neurologist as part of her treatment and to monitor her development. Nicole’s condition requires multiple monthly doctor’s appointments up to Portland. Despite the trauma the whole family has been through, Matthew says his niece is a resilient and happy baby.

“She is recovering well. She is back to being happy, she’s talking, she’s eating, she’s doing everything that you’d want a baby to do… a little bit of crying, but that’s normal,” he says.

If you would like to donate to Nicole’s GOFUNDME page and support the Root family, follow this link:

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NBC5 News Reporter Natalie Sirna grew up in Glendora, CA and attended the University of La Verne. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in English and served as Editor-in-Chief of La Verne Magazine. Her experience as an editor piqued her interest in broadcast journalism. When she's not reading or writing, Natalie enjoys oil painting and playing her electric guitar.
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