By Alyssa Martin
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — A Starkville family is sharing their story while fundraising for Lebonheur Children’s Hospital. The parents of twin boys, Jacob and Will Barret, are partnering with local businesses to benefit the hospital that saved their son’s life. WCBI’s Alyssa Martin brings us the story.
Jacob and Will Barret were born on February 25. 2013. Just days later, the family was told their oldest son, Jacob, was born with five congenital heart defects. The family was then transferred to Lebonheur Children’s Hospital, where he would begin a series of surgeries.
“We almost lost Jacob twice. But the doctors and nurses and all of the staff at Lebonheur, the preachers, they were all all wonderful and they never gave up and kept fighting and Misty and I never gave up and we kept fighting. Lebonheur was where he needed to be and they did amazing work,” Heath Barret said.
When Jacob was just seven days old, he had his first surgery. Over the next year, he would spend 144 days in the hospital’s care, undergoing numerous procedures.
“They were born two months early. So he weighed four pounds, a little over four pounds, and started his first surgery really, really small,” Heath said.
The Barret’s say the community support they have received throughout the past year is beyond anything they could have imagined.
“It was so much more than we ever expected or ever hoped for. We couldn’t have done it without this community being there for us and helping us with the boys, and still they continue to be there for us,” Misty said.
The family vows to share their story and continue fund raising for the children’s hospital.
“We said we would spend the rest of our lives telling his story and doing what we could to let others know about what Lebonheur can do for someones family who is going through what we are and what we have been through. And we want to raise awareness about congenital heart defects and heart disease. That’s our goal and we will do this for the rest of our lives.”
The proud parents are organizing their first major fundraiser for Lebonheur this Wednesday at Mugshots in Starkville and welcome the public to join.
Mugshots will donate fifteen percent of their total sales to Lebonheur Children’s Hospital on Wednesday. Other sponsors include, “Blu Fish Design” Phi Mu sorority and “Making Life Grand” It goes on all day, and there will be live music courtesy of Jeffrey Rupp from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.