Bringing Zayden home

Zayden Taylor is home with his twin Kaden after being in the NICU for 8 months.

UPDATE: August 27, 2014 10 a.m.

Zayden and Kaden Taylor were born at 29 weeks in October.

Kaden came home after spending two months in the NICU in Springfield, and Zayden spent the next eight months in the NICU at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Zayden is now home in Bluffs.

The boys are now months old, and you might remember there was a mold problem in a house that the boys' grandfather bought for the family.

Work continues on the house.

Servicemaster employees and other volunteers starting gutting the house earlier this summer.

Electrical work is ongoing now, and hopes are the family will be able to move in by October.


UPDATE: June 13, 2014 1 a.m.

Zayden's grandmother shared some not so good news with KHQA about his health.

She tells us an MRI showed an enlarged blood vessel in his brain that could also affect his heart.

The family is still waiting to hear back from the neurologist to see what that means.

In the meantime, Zayden may have to go to a rehabilitation center in St. Louis before he gets to come home.


UPDATE: May 12, 2014 9:30 a.m.

An account has been set up at the Bank of Bluffs if you'd like to donate to the Taylor family.

Here is a link to the bank's online page.



The birth of a baby is normally a happy time.

When the baby comes more than ten weeks early, that's one of the last things on your mind.

Joey Taylor and Melinda Hildago of Bluffs, Illinois know this all too well.

Preemie babies arrive

They had twins back in October who weren't due until January.

"They were really, really small," the twins' dad Joey Taylor said.

"They were the size of my hand," grandpa Joe Taylor added.

"Kaden weighed 3 pounds. Zayden weighed 2 pounds, 11 ounces," mom Melinda Hildago said.

"It's pretty rough," Joe Taylor said.

Little Zayden was flown to Springfield while his brother Kaden took an ambulance from Jacksonville. Kaden spent two months in the NICU in Springfield, and then got to come home. Zayden stayed there for three more months. A month ago, he was transferred to the NICU at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Medical issues abound

Zayden has been diagnosed with Bronchial Pulmonary Dysplasia, or BPD, a chronic lung disease.

"He's on a ventilator. He's got a trach and a G-tube," Hildago said.

That's how he eats. Kaden and Zayden are now six months old.

"It's still kind of hard to see him on that stuff, but as long as it helps him, we're alright," Joey Taylor said.

Doctors think Zayden will be at Children's until July. He will have to come home on a ventilator, but his parents say he should outgrow the lung disease.

"He's not by himself. Either grandma goes up there or great grandma goes up there while I'm home," Hildago said.

That means this family is on the road a lot back and forth to St. Louis. The bills are piling up, and it's not just from medical costs. Despite the troubles, this family is focused on one thing, bringing Zayden home and getting everyone together again under one roof.

A home that isn't a home

Grandpa Joe Taylor bought the couple a home in Bluffs, but there are major issues with the house.

The home isn't fit for a baby, much less preemies who already have respiratory problems.

"There's mold in the house. Mainly the mold is in the closet where the roof is leaking really bad," Tina Taylor said.

There are also issues with the plaster and drywall in the house. Flooring needs to be redone, and it needs a good cleaning.

"We need to get help with the house and get it fixed up because when he gets home, everything's going to have to be perfect.

"The good thing is, it looks like the electric part of it is real good. We need to go in and change outlets and light fixtures," Joe Taylor said.

The bathroom is also an issue because there is no bathtub.

"Right now it's just a shower stall. Which as Zayden gets older, it will be more difficult for him to use a shower because of the trach," Joe Taylor said.

Travel time takes over

Beside finances, time is the other enemy.

"You can't be two places at once," Hildago said.

She spends a lot of time in St. Louis, but she also has Kaden at home and a three year old, so she can't be gone all the time. Family is filling in the holes the best they can, which is why the house just sits empty.

Joe Taylor says he could do some of the work, if he had time. His son Joey is in the same boat. He works six days a week, and is in St. Louis on his days off. Joe's fiance, Tina is the one person who's trying to keep things together when Hildago is in St. Louis. When Hildago is home in Bluffs, Tina is in St. Louis.

"Sometimes I wanna break down and cry," Tina admitted.

How you can help

The family is hoping someone can help, whether it's financially or physically, with the house. That way when Zayden gets home, his home is ready for him.

The family would appreciate any help or ideas on how they can get help.

Joe Taylor is the family contact person. You can contact him on his Facebook page by clicking here, or call him at 217-370-9788.

The family is also struggling with gas money to get back and forth to St. Louis, and the family van spends a lot of time in the shop.