A GoFundMe page for Amélie has raised more than $8,000. Contributed photo

GoFundMe page raises thousands for Red Deer toddler who swallowed battery

More than $8,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page for a Red Deer toddler who swallowed a battery.

About a month ago, Leslie Bangamba was emptying her dishwasher, when suddenly, her young daughter Amelie collapsed.

Amelie was rushed to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. An X-ray revealed a foreign object was ingested and “wreaking havoc on her tiny body,” the GoFundMe page said.

Cardiac surgery confirmed it was a button battery, which caused a rupture to her esophagus, trachea, aorta and carotid left artery. She flatlined twice, suffered a stroke on the left side of her brain and had sub-dermal bleeding on the right side.

Amelie was brought to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, where the team of doctors “truly performed a miracle.”

An update provided Thursday on the GoFundMe page, which was created by family friend Cynthia Pottinger, says Amelie had an esophagram and the results showed her esophagus is healing.

But there are “still some things to figure out feeding wise (she is currently being fed via gastrointestinal tube), but she was given the green light to enjoy clear fluids – specifically, water, orange juice and apple juice.”

In a Facebook post, Bangamba said she intends to use the funds to “assist with the cost of creating awareness and advocating on the dangers of button batteries, and of course, for the unknown day-to-day costs as we move forward.”

The GoFundMe page says Amelie’s father, Astrel Adolphe, is taking time off work, and her mother has been on maternity leave since October 2018.

Bangamba was supposed to return to work April 15, but due to COVID-19, she had to push back her return with the lack of childcare options for their two other children.

“Obviously, given this crisis, a return to work for Leslie is out of the question for an undetermined amount of time,” said the webpage.

“We have already received such a huge miracle in the life of a remarkable little girl. It is our prayer that anyone touched by this story donate what they can to support this very special family in their time of need.”

For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/f/amelie039s-battle.

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