Toddler Bella Streeval and family continue to battle her severe seizures
Two-year-old Bella has the most beautiful, long, brown hair. When down and sweetly flowing it is a mix of little girl curls and ringlets. So thick and full in fact, one would never see the cochlear implant on each ear unless already aware of them.
But the implants for this child are only a small piece to a much bigger story.
Bella was born with numerous medical conditions. Her parents, Keith and Sarah Streeval, have weathered turbulent moments before with their loving girl but always worked diligently to meet each new need Bella developed.
A perfect example is when Bella was only 6 months old. Her doctors determined she was deaf in one ear and almost completely deaf in the other. Sarah immediately began researching any help available to rural Kentucky counties. She was determined to not only aid her own child but help other deaf children and adults in the area. Unsatisfied with the status quo, she dug deeper and found a way to secure a sign language teacher who taught a series of classes to anyone interested in participating. A proven “helper” by nature.
When they thought they were prepared to take on whatever Bella’s next new phase would be, the family was sucker punched with possibly the hardest part of their journey thus far. Earlier this year Bella began to experience seizures. Some episodes were so severe the strongest medications did little to help. Doctors were unable to control the numerous types she continued to have, so it was decided the best route would be surgery. On March 29, a Vagal Nerve Stimulator was implanted with the hope of slowing her drug-resistant epilepsy.
Bella showed improvement during the first few days of healing and the family was thrilled at the thought of once again being together and at home. Unfortunately, the seizures recently returned and words like “grand mal,” “rescue meds,” and “PICU” have again become part of everyday language.
It’s been 27 days (March 15) since Bella was admitted to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Sarah, a self-employed counselor, has not left her daughter’s side. Keith, an employee at the Adair Youth Development Center, has used all the time off available to him to be with his baby girl and now the realization of “life goes on” pierces the heart. The demanding constants in life, such as monthly bills and necessities, don’t stop due to a sick child. It’s only due to the generosity of others that Keith is able to stay with his family through this ordeal.
The Streevals’ situation is a perfect reminder that there is true beauty living in a small town. Neighbor helps neighbor. Adair County has witnessed so many of our youngest fight astonishing battles, yet proving giants are beaten when one small community comes together with prayer, financial support and volunteering.
Bella has an infectious smile, one we must see returned to light up our tiny town. Her parents have never and will never give up. A family is stronger together and right now financial needs are preventing that reunion. The Streevals desperately need to surround Bella and build strength with each other to overcome repeating seizures, continuous days in a hospital room, and the potential for a more invasive surgery, which doctors have held back as a sort of last ditch effort.
Besides her parents, Bella has a large extended family, including proud grandparents Barney and Doris Janes and Jeff and Dorinda Streeval.
There are several ways to show your support for this precious family:
- Monetary donations can be dropped off at any First & Farmers National Bank in Columbia.
- Visit the Go Fund Me page set up for quick and easy giving: https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-baby-bella-amp-family
- Mail a card or donation to: The Streeval Fund, P.O. Box 1312, Columbia, KY 42728 (checks should be made out to Keith or Sarah Streeval)
- Donations may be dropped off at the Community Voice office, 316 Public Square (Sarah is a friend and former employee.)
For questions or general information, contact Tiffany Kessler at 270-250-3778 or Sharon Burton at 270-384-9454.