December, with all of its holiday spirit, shouldn't be a tough month for a 2-year-old.
For Malyia Jeffers, however, it started with a feverish, five-hour emergency room wait that resulted in the amputation of her lower legs and left hand, and ended with her on a ventilator, undergoing kidney dialysis.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Ryan Jeffers and Leah Yang, Malyia's parents, rushed her to a Sacramento urgent care facility when they noticed she was running a fever and unusually lethargic. When specialists saw the young girl, they told them to take her to the Methodist Hospital emergency room immediately.
Once they arrived, Malyia developed bruise-like splotches on her cheeks and eventually couldn't muster the strength to walk.
Even with these symptoms, emergency room personnel told the family to wait. More than five hours later, Jeffers told KTXL that he couldn't take it anymore.
"I don't like being a loud, obnoxious person. Especially in an ER. But I felt it was a need for me to at least make a scene enough where it was actually getting ridiculous being told I was next over and over."
After Jeffers demanded assistance, they took a blood test that suggested the child was in liver faliure.
She was rushed to the pediatric care unit at Sutter Memorial Hospital, but her journey wasn't over yet. She was finally flown in by helicopter to Standford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital before she received the appropriate diagnosis.
They found out that Malyia had a Streptococcus A infection that had spread to her vital organs. For her to survive, she'd need her lower legs and left hand to be amputated.
The operations were successful, however the cold financial reality of the ordeal is starting to hit.
The bill for the helicopter transport alone is $26,000. Although the family is currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House for $10 per day, their other expenses are being paid out-of-pocket and Jeffers describes their insurance policy as inconsistent at best.
They have set up the Ryan Jeffers and Family Fund to collect donations. Even so, Jeffers told the Bee that money is not foremost in his mind.
"It's been hard, but we're not thinking about money right now. We're just thinking about Malyia."
To donate or view Malyia's blog, follow the Impact links below: