COUNCIL BLUFFS — A Council Bluffs girl who had her wish granted last year by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa’s Southwest Iowa Committee has taken a turn for the worse.
Meanwhile, her father had to have a heart transplant.
Ali Smith, 15, suffers from severe epilepsy and received a swimming pool from Make-A-Wish last July. She had been taking an experimental drug that had reduced her seizures from 800 a day to 50. Now, more trouble has surfaced, said her father, Tad Smith.
“Ali started having problems in December and about three days after Christmas had to have a partial hysterectomy because of her epilepsy,” he said. “She still hasn’t recovered.”
Ali returned home in mid-March, Smith said.
“She still has home health coming out,” he said. “She won’t eat. Nobody can explain why; she just doesn’t want to eat. She can’t talk and tell us what she needs, so it’s just a guess.”
Ali is getting shots and is being given nutrients through a tube, Smith said.
“She gets better day by day, really slowly, and then she takes a step backwards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ali’s seizures have gotten worse, said her grandmother Andrea Smith.
Tad Smith also has been in the hospital — for a successful heart transplant. He was put on the list to receive the organ on Feb. 17 and had the transplant March 31. He said he was “very lucky” not to have to wait longer.
Smith, 39, has a long history of heart problems. “I’ve had congestive heart failure for almost 15 years,” he said.
Smith said his new heart seems to be a perfect fit.
A fund has been set up at American National Bank to help with the family’s medical expenses. Donations can be designated for the Tad and Ali Smith Assistance Fund and dropped off at any American National Bank branch.