To my dear patients,
As many of you already know, Mario and I had our first baby this year. He was born 2 months early (in early August). His name is Kian ("Kee-on") Anthony Amato. He is absolutely precious and is the light of our lives. Unfortunately, he was born with a serious and very rare birth defect known as “esophageal atresia,” in which he is missing most of his esophagus. He has been in the NICU in Denver ever since he was born. Because esophageal atresia is so rare, there is quite a bit of controversy regarding the best surgical treatment option. After months of research, discussions with various surgeons, and much prayer, my husband and I have decided to have Kian transported from Colorado Children’s Hospital to Boston Children’s Hospital and will therefore be moving to Boston for a few months with him. You see, Boston Children’s Hospital has the only clinic in the world that performs a relatively new and very complicated procedure that will induce growth of Kian’s esophagus over the course of several weeks, while he is in a medically-induced coma. This procedure, if successful, will give Kian the best chance at having a close-to-normal functioning esophagus. The entire procedure and recovery process will take, at minimum, 2 months to complete. Now, deciding to leave our life and business here in Longmont for a few months was not an easy decision to make. There is certainly a degree of discomfort that comes along with having our medically fragile newborn transported on a private air ambulance across the country, and not knowing where we will be living for the next few months. However, my husband and I feel this is the sacrifice we need to make for the future health and quality of life of our son.
Though I will miss you all while I'm away for a few months, know that you will be well taken care of. Julie and Brittany are two of the most reliable, intelligent, and kind-hearted people I have ever met and they will continue to take great care of you and your eyecare needs while I am out of the office. Recently, I was very fortunate to have the pleasure of meeting the warm and bubbly Dr. Adriana Garcia. She is an optometrist who recently moved back here from Illinois (she is a CSU grad), and has been kind enough to offer to take over for me during this stressful time in my life. I have faith that she will take great care of you during my leave of absence.
Now, some of you have asked me if there is anything you can do to help me at this time. A few friends have offered to set up a “go-fund-me” account for all the medical and business expenses that we will incur over the next few months. That is not necessary. Honestly, the main thing that helps is the continued support of our small business. Most of you know that we opened Sight Eyecare just 2 years ago. Being a business owner has not always been easy and there are certainly financial burdens that come along with leaving the practice for several months. However, I am still hopeful that we will continue to thrive, thanks to patients like you who continue to support family-owned businesses like ours. So I thank you for your continued support and business, even while I am away. Thank you so much for understanding my reasons for being unavailable for the next few months. I look forward to seeing you all when I return to Longmont, which will hopefully be by the end of the year. Kian looks forward to meeting you all soon as well! :)
Dr. Neka Amato