RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The parents of a child with a life-threatening illness reached out to NBC12 for help.
A room at VCU Medical Center has been Samantha's home for nearly two years. Her family in Waverly would like to live closer to her.
"She is so full of energy. She tries to pull herself up," said Samantha's mother Jamie McCann. "There's more that I could do for her if we were living closer."
Samatha's parents believe if they can find a house to rent in Richmond, they could help their little girl with physical therapy.
It's not a normal life when a hospital room is your home and all interaction with your family happens during extended visits. She's adorable and happy in all her pictures, but look below Samantha's radiant smile and you'll see the ventilator, feeding and tracheal tubes her life depends on.
"Oh it hurts. It hurts because she can't come home. It hurts that she has this stuff hooked up to her. She can't run around and play like normal kids or anything She's not even walking and she's almost two years old. They don't have her eating by mouth, drinking by mouth," said McCann.
The toddler will be tethered to tubes for her second birthday and Christmas at VCU Medical Center. Her mom believes little Sam would be stronger if they could work with her every day and still be able to care for the rest of the family.
"We've got six boys, all healthy, and then we've got her and we ask 'what did we do wrong?' and it's hard because we've always been in the position where we've helped other people, and now that we need help, no one wants to be there."
They say the long drive time from Waverly is taking a toll on them, and they don't qualify for public assistance.
"We went from our own home to a hotel room," said Samantha's father, Sam Butarri. "Before all this, I was never late on a car payment. Never late on a credit card payment. Never late on a mortgage. When she got sick, I lost everything."
Jamie and Sam say they're worried doctors are contemplating a double lung transplant when they only have a partial diagnosis.
"She can get air in, but she can't expel the air out. So, basically everything backs up," said Butarri.
A house to rent closer to the hospital is what they're hoping for.
"As long as we're close enough to Samantha, that would be awesome, because I really believe I need to spend more time with her than what we're doing now, and with us being so far away, we just can't do it," said McCann.
Call 345-1212 if you're a landlord with property to rent in the Richmond area or message me on Facebook. We will put you in touch with Samatha's parents.
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