A Newton toddler is breaking barriers after a head injury sustained early in her life.
Two-year-old Gabriella Negrete was four months old when she suffered an anoxic brain injury, where not enough oxygen could get to her brain, causing her body to seize and her brain to swell. Since then, Gabby’s family said she has to work very hard to reach milestones like holding her head up or rolling over.
“She loves music, and she loves being outside listening to the birds and taking walks in her stroller and listening to little kids talk, that really makes her smile,” grandmother Tressa Machmer said.
The family reports some success after a hyperbaric chamber treatment in Kansas City.
“It’s 40 dives, so it’s four weeks, twice a day. They put a hood over her like a mini-submarine, and you go in it, and it’s supposed to increase the blood flow in the brain pathways,” Machmer said.
But Gabby’s treatment can be costly. The hyperbaric chamber cost $5,000 out of pocket. The family wants to get some items for Gabby as she grows, like a bath chair and a wheelchair.
A family friend in a community, all too familiar with head injuries, is stepping up to help.
Bruce and Amy Richardson own Bar2Bar MX in Maize.
“Seeing the progress she made and then to hear the stories about the improvements that came about after the hyperbaric treatments, we knew we wanted to get involved and give back,” Bruce Richardson said.
Richardson along with Gabby’s great aunt Tria and family and friends are having a motocross event this Sunday, July 15 that will benefit the Go Gabby Go foundation and further fund her treatments.
The fundraiser will also have a presentation from a trauma surgeon, to discuss brain injury and concussions.
“Not only things that affect motocross, but affect everybody in their everyday lives,” Richardson said.
The Go Gabby Go event is Sunday, July 15 beginning at 9 a.m. at Bar2Bar MX in Maize. Dirtbikes, silent auction and food trucks will be available.