Bridgeport baby with heart defect needs a specific formula amid national shortage
A Bridgeport couple whose baby has a rare heart condition is being impacted by the critical shortage of baby formula and found innovative ways to get through this difficult time.
Elias Rawls is 6 months old and has a congenital heart defect known as total anomalous pulmonary venous return, or TAPVR. In a baby with TAPVR, oxygen-rich blood does not return from the lungs to the left atrium. Instead, the oxygen-rich blood returns to the right side of the heart.
As a result, he has an underdeveloped digestive system, which means the only thing he can eat is a special kind of formula. The formula, Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease, is affected by the national shortage of baby formula.
Elias's parents have been scrambling to get enough supply, calling it a terrifying situation to deal with.
"It's definitely scary not knowing where your child's next bottle is going to come from...not knowing if you were going to be able to feed your child," said Andre Rawls, Elias' father.
Nonetheless, the couple has come up with innovative ways to handle the shortage. Thanks to a Facebook page called "Find My Formula of Connecticut" – the couple says they've banded together with other parents to track down and buy formula from sources all over the world.