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Finding Strength and Healing in Each Other

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The Maynards are a large and loving family made up of foster children, special needs adults, adopted and biological children. Their special bonds have helped them through trying times and many health scares.

Dakota Maynard started having seizures when he was six months old. The neurologist who had been observing Dakota from the time of his first seizure through his first few years, made the final diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome when Dakota was four years old. Luckily for Dakota, he has the support of his family and friends.

Dakota and his father, Jeff, have a very close relationship. In fact, Jeff is a retired firefighter and one day, Dakota hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Two years ago, the lives of the Maynard family took an unfortunate turn when Jeff, who is no stranger to heart problems, began experiencing excessive jaw pain. The doctors discovered that he had an extremely rare infection in the pericardial sac around his heart. Several delicate surgeries were performed but the infection had entered his lungs causing his lungs to collapse. Jeff was hospitalized for 30 days and was referred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

At the time, Mayo Clinic was not a covered provider. To help determine what could be done to get insurance coverage, Peggy was asked to submit specific paperwork from the hospital to be presented to the medical director at Network Health for review. The family didn’t have time to wait for a response and Peggy was submitting paperwork as they traveled to Minnesota. She received a call back from Network Health and was told the services would be covered as it was determined that Mayo Clinic was their only option.

Once they got to the clinic it was discovered that Jeff had a cardiac aneurysm and the bacterial infection was still present. Jeff was given about 24 hours to live. Despite the short time frame, the Maynard’s were lucky enough to have one of the best surgeons in the world available to operate and he saved Jeff’s life. Two days after the surgery his kidneys starting failing. Jeff stayed at the Mayo Clinic for one month and had a total of three surgeries during his stay.

“I was not only worried about Jeff but I knew that if anything happened to him, Dakota would be lost without his dad,” Peggy said. Dakota went to Minnesota to visit his dad every chance he could between work and school. “This was a terrible time for our family but we wouldn’t have made it without the support from our family and friends,” Peggy said

“My dad has been a firefighter and EMT for 26 years. We were used to him saving people’s lives and now someone had to save his life,” Dakota said.

Dakota and Jeff need continuous medical care, from medications, therapy and doctor visits and are in constant contact with Network Health.


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