Girl who fell in Rock Island pond fighting to overcome lung issues

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The 6-year-old girl who fell into an icy pond in Rock Island continues to struggle with lung issues, said Shawn Ballard of Ballard Ambulance.

Ballard posted on Facebook about his visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital today, where Rae’Ana Rosenberg remains in intensive care.

Rae’Ana fell into the pond after walking out onto ice Feb. 21. Firefighters from Douglas County Fire District 2 rescued her after she was in the water about 20 minutes. She was brought back to life by an ambulance crew that included Ballard, and later flown to Seattle.

“Her main issues are her lungs and some blood clots in her extremities,” Ballard wrote. “The impression is that her brain is fine as long as they can get over the hurdle of all these other physical issues.”

Ballard said the girl’s mother, Becca Shelton, “jumped in a rig with just the clothes on her back” as her daughter was being flown to Seattle. He said she had no time to grab clothes or her wallet with her ID. She had that shipped over a week ago but it still hasn’t arrived.

Shelton is due to give birth in early April and is caring for her 12-year-old son as she stays by her daughter’s bedside. They need to stay very quiet in the room, so as not to over-excite the girl, Ballard said.

Shelton planned to give the boy a break today by taking him to the zoo to see a lion, something he has long wanted to see, Ballard said.

Still, she remains thankful, Ballard said. “Thankful to everyone that has been sending words of encouragement, for all of the prayers (especially) and for all of the generous folks that have been supporting them financially.”

Becca was recovering well before suffering a setback with her lungs late last week. Though her condition had improved from critical to serious, she has remained on a ventilator.

On Friday, she was attached to an ECMO machine, which diverts blood to an artificial lung, where it is oxygenated before being returned to her body.

“The good news is that she is a fighter,” Ballard said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with expenses and as of Wednesday afternoon $5,625 had been raised.