BEVERLY — Madeline Harrigan returned to her West Beverly home Tuesday, exactly one week after being diagnosed with a rare heart defect.
Her uncle, Noel Bax flew in Thursday from Los Angeles to be with his sister, niece and the rest of his family. A successful surgery took place at 7:30 a.m. Friday at Advocate Christ Hospital in suburban Oak Lawn, Bax said Tuesday.
His last-minute flight home Saturday included a trip to Atlanta. It was on that flight that Bax set up a GoFundMe page for his sister and her family. He asked for $10,000 to help pay for any out-of-pocket medical expenses as well as to offset lost income caused by time away from work during Madeline's recovery.
Within two hours, $5,000 had been raised, according to Bax. And as of Tuesday afternoon, friends and neighbors had exceeded the amount requested, donating $15,776 to the family of the baby girl with a bright smile.
His sister, Brigid Harrigan, took to Facebook to update everyone on her daughter's condition. She also thanked supporters on her own behalf as well as from her husband, Patrick, and their 1½-year-old son, Luke.
"I can't even begin to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported us over the last week. The prayers, thoughts, messages, food and contributions to Maddie's recovery fund are all extremely humbling and much appreciated," she wrote.
Madeline Harrigan's heart condition was found as part of a routine checkup where doctors noticed a slight heart murmur, said Bax, 34, who anticipates bringing the online fundraiser to a close Saturday.
And with the successful surgery completed, Brigid Harrigan eagerly looked forward to seeing her daughter grow up.
"I feel sorry for the first boy who tries and breaks this little girl's new and improved heart," she wrote on Facebook.