The COVID-19 virus has dealt several tough blows to her family

May 4, 2020
Topics: Donors, Riley Kid Story

Jha'Vion Full Size

“The donors are a blessing on all of our families,” says Riley mom Tanya Baylor. “Sometimes without your help, we don’t know if we are going to make it.” 

Tanya is one of many Riley parents breathing easier right now, thanks to a boost from the donor-supported Riley Relief Fund. The COVID-19 virus dealt several tough blows to her family.

Her son, Jha’Vion Shelton, is an active teenager and a dedicated student – and at high risk of infection. When he was 10 years old, Jha’Vion came to the emergency room at Riley Hospital for Children with what his family thought was an allergic reaction. He was diagnosed with Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP), a rare disease that was attacking his kidneys. Now 13 years old, Jha’Vion continues to visit Riley three times a week for dialysis while he awaits a kidney transplant.

Tanya works as a home health aide in Indianapolis. With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, their family’s circumstances changed dramatically. Tanya began staying home from her job to reduce Jha’Vion’s risk of exposure – two of her cousins have passed away from the virus. Then Jha’Vion spiked a fever, and he tested positive for COVID-19. 

He stayed in his room at home to protect his younger brother. “That was difficult. His brother couldn’t understand why he couldn’t come out, so he would cry outside his door,” Tanya said. The only time Jha’Vion ventured out was to continue his dialysis treatment at Riley. There, the dedicated team of caregivers took great strides to provide him the very best care while keeping other kids, families and the Riley staff safe. 

 Much to Tanya’s relief, Jha’Vion’s latest test came back negative. 

Tanya took her remaining PTO days at work to care for Jha’Vion, so she no longer has income. Assistance from the Riley Relief Fund covered the family’s April rent. “Once we get over this hurdle, it makes me want to make sure I donate and do charitable things because someone helped us out,” Tanya said. “We are very grateful.”

Tanya has a message of hope for other families facing difficult circumstances. “Keep striving for the best that you can do. Even if it gets hard, don’t give up. It will get better at the end of the day.” Jha’Vion wants other kids who need Riley to know that they are receiving the best care. “Don’t worry about anything!” he said.

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The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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