Last year, the community stepped up to help an Albuquerque couple who owned a restaurant near Nob Hll.
However, the Langes were forced to close down and move as they awaited the birth of their daughter with a congenital heart defect. Now, they are back in town and hoping to raise awareness and show support to other families.
“It’s amazing, you look at her now compared to what she was four months ago,” said Gary Lange.
Baby Katherine is a curious and smiley eight-month-old. In her short life, she has had two open heart surgeries.
We first introduced you to Gary and Casey-Armstrong Lange last June at “Kasey’s” as they prepared to close the restaurant and move to Colorado.
They needed treatment for their unborn daughter with hypoplastic left heart syndrome meaning part of her heart didn’t develop.
“It was overwhelming to see the support from the community that we had,” said Casey-Armstrong Lange.
The community rallied around the Langes, raising more than $15,000 for the family.
Just four days after Katherine was born, she had her first open heart surgery.
“You hand off your baby and say ‘here you go, do what you gotta do,'” Gary Lange explained.
In their temporary home, they found community.
“Once we got to Colorado and staying at the Ronald McDonald house we met so many families with babies in the NICU and the CICU and we found a lot of people from Albuquerque,” Lange said.
They say that support kept them going through scary times.
“All the families, it’s a journey for everybody,” said Casey.
Now, Katherine is thriving and the Lange’s are back home.
“We wanted to have people to share our stories with who are in similar situations,” Casey said.
They have each started mom and dad meetups and gotten involved with Lexiam, a new non-profit for families dealing with congenital heart defects.
They are forever thankful for the community’s ongoing support.
When it comes to getting back in the restaurant business, “we’re not gone forever, lets say that. Kasey’s is not gone forever.”
Baby Katherine will need another surgery in a few years.
The Langes are continuing to fundraise, they are selling T-shirts to help pay for expenses.
You can see their GofundMe here.
The Langes also want to raise awareness about another local family, whose baby boy has a congenital heart defect.