Family raises money for unborn baby with complications


DANVILLE — A woman is raising money to care for her unborn baby after she was diagnosed was several major complications.

Destiny Morgan says if baby Autumn survives, She’ll have to stay at the Children’s Hospital in Peoria while doctors try to help her. But if she doesn’t make it, the family will have to pay for a funeral. You don’t normally see a pregnant woman– and her kids– in a bar. And you don’t normally hear kids reading letters to someone they haven’t met.

“Now that I know I have a sister coming, I am beyond excited to meet you.”  

But they may never meet their baby sister, because what this family is going through is anything but normal.

“We won’t know how severe it is until she’s born,” says Morgan, “There’s mild, moderate, and severe, and in severe cases, it’s death.”

Morgan says doctors explained it to her. Baby Autumn’s heart is missing two chambers and a major valve. She’s also missing several vertebrae and her tailbone, and has a clubbed foot.

If things turn out well:

“They will go in and put shunts in her heart, and put a pulmonary artery valve, an artificial valve in,” says Morgan.

And if they don’t turn out well: “If we do have to bury her we need to have funeral expenses.”

Either way, she and her fiancee still have to pay the bills. And that’s where, of all things..camo comes in.

“We’re all wearing camo today to support her and the baby,” says Danny Cope.

What’s usually a disguise is a badge of honor inside Sarge’s Tap bar. Benefit organizers and family friends Danny and Debby Cope say they’re getting used to throwing these bashes.

“There’s probably been about five or six I’ve done,” says Cope. Cope has rallied bars to donate profits, set up silent auctions, and booked bands many times for many causes. But he says it doesn’t get easier.

“Last one I’ve done, I said I would never do another one, because it really hit home,” he says, “Because it was my wife’s dad. “

He says he couldn’t turn this one down And the situation feels familiar for Morgan, too. She’s hoping to have three kids soon.

“I actually suffered a miscarriage in March of last year,” says Morgan, “so I would have had four.”

Baby Autumn’s heart may not make it, but one thing that’s certain no matter what is that there’s no shortage of heart for her.

“If my daughter’s going to make it, my daughter’s going to make it,” says Morgan, “If she’s not, she’s not. It’s by the grace of god, at this point.”

Autumn is scheduled for a C-section on April 24th. Morgan says they were hoping to raise $3,000 on Sunday. She says her complications are rare. Doctors told her they occur in only one out of every 250,000 pregnancies. The family is setting up an account at the First Midwest Bank in Danville for anyone who wants to donate.

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