Duck Dynasty stars visit Louisville baby with genetic disease
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An 8-month-old baby girl suffering from a rare genetic disease is capturing hearts on social media and inspiring celebrities to help her.
Karson Friedmeyer is expected to have open heart surgery next month.
The family took a picture for Trisomy Awareness Month hoping to get one million likes. It's been shared thousands of times.
"At first they told us to take her home and love her and spend as much time with her as you can because you don't know how long that's going to be," said Casey Friedmeyer, Karson's mother.
Karson has an extra 18th chromosome, which is called Trisomy 18 or Edwards Syndrome. It occurs in one in 6000 births.
Just under 10 percent of kids with this condition live to be a year old, but her family says she's a fighter. Doctors say a small number of adults with Trisomy 18 are living into their 20s and 30s.
"I feel like the medical data is outdated and it shows with medical intervention these kids can live much longer," Friedmeyer said.
Karson is now recovering from a heart catheter, so she can proceed with open heart surgery soon in St. Louis. This is her seventh hospital stay since she was born.
"They have these overlapped fingers. You can see Karson's here -- two fingers overlap the middle two. She does open fingers and grab toys. She gets therapy at home, so she's doing really well with that," Friedmeyer said.
On Friday, Karson got some unexpected visitors: Willie and Sadie from Duck Dynasty.
"Just asked us where we're from and about Karson and he gave her an American flag bandanna where he wrote her name and his signature on there for her to have forever and it was really sweet. He joked it was her first American flag bandanna," Friedmeyer said.
Both parents still work full-time and don't know how much medical costs will be after insurance. A fundraiser is being held for the family in June in Sellersburg with a chicken dinner and auction to help with the medical bills.
They've been amazed at how generous people are and how much support they're getting -- all because of their little girl.
"Just wanting to spread awareness really and Karson, she is strong, so I know that because she's so strong, I can feel confident in her and relax a bit and know everything is going to be okay," Friedmeyer said.
For information on donating to help the family, click here.
For information on the Karson Friedmeyer Fundraiser, click here.
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