Community members come together to help family and daughter with heart defect

A heart for Oaklee

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Community members in Albertville are rallying together to help a family and their newborn daughter with a heart defect.

Seventy-one days is how long Trent Slaton and Alexis Beard have been in the hospital with their daughter, Oaklee. She was born on July 20th with a heart defect and has already undergone multiple surgeries at just two months old.

Her father, Trent Slaton, owns The Yum Yum Tree restaurant in Albertville and said things have been difficult.

“It’s been tough, you know 2020 has been a tough one on everybody. Just with the medical expenses aside and the restaurant business has not been great especially for my mom and pop restaurant like I own, but the city of Albertville has been good to my family and I can’t thank them enough," said Slaton.

Jeremy Reaves knows what it’s like to have a sick child. He lost his daughter back in 2015 to a brain tumor.

Now, Jeremy has decided to give back and host a fundraiser for Oaklee.

“When I was in the hospital, I stayed in the hospital the entire time, but with all of the COVID-19 restrictions they are strict with people being in the hospital. The Ronald McDonald house is shut down, so they are not getting any of that assistance right now," said Reaves.

Slaton said although he is thankful for the outpouring of support from the community, he and his family are relying on their faith to help Oaklee fight and get better.

“It’s faith based survival for us, I mean it’s all about people being so positive around us, and we are at a great hospital and I can’t say enough about Children’s Hospital in Birmingham and the staff here has been phenomenal," said Slaton.

Right now, Oaklee is on the heart transplant list and will have to undergo several more surgeries.

The fundraiser for Oaklee will be held at the Gridiron restaurant in Boaz on October 10 at 11 a.m. There will be live music, raffles, and door prizes.

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