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Baby Hospitalized 17 Times for Food Allergies

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CBN's Helping the Home Front partners with local churches to meet the needs of military families. We offer hope and practical assistance to our armed forces and their loved ones. Learn more.

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Dory Nissen - 700 Club Producer

E-5 Corpsman Sean has no problem balancing giving his best to the Navy, and being Dad.  His wife Jessica couldn’t be more appreciative.

Jessica says, “I am so proud of him. He is a very strong hard worker. He would do anything for our family and I think for his job and I think for our country.”

Sean is quick to give Jessica just as much praise.  

Sean says, “Not only am I serving, but she’s serving as well. She has to deal with the sacrifices of moving away from the family, dealing with the boys all by herself a lot of times when I’m out in the field. It’s awesome. I just think she’s an amazing person.”

Their lives dramatically changed when their youngest was diagnosed with a rare food allergy disease at just five months old.  He was hospitalized 17 times while doctors attempted to determine the correct treatment.  

They were talking about having to switch him to this formula, and he may never have food again, and he may never grow, and he may need feeding tubes. All these thoughts and plans that you have in your head for this innocent baby are just thrown out the window!

Doctors put Cohen on a highly-specialized diet.  Their grocery bill doubled.

Jessica continues, “We really have to plan and budget what we can eat. I worry at night, 'is there something I can sell in the house just to get Cohen a special meal so he can have something special this week?'  I’ll look through old toys or maybe old clothes that we have. Anything that could maybe be of value to someone else, just to get an extra $10 for that week.”

Sean adds, “I’ll say, you know what? Maybe I can go do odd jobs on the weekends. I could give up my time with the family to go do an odd job. Make $100 on a Saturday, even if I’m gone all day.”

While researching Cohen's rare condition, Jessica found a physician who specialized in the disease.  But the doctor didn’t accept military insurance.  The couple simply couldn’t afford the cost.

Jessica says, “We know there’s somebody there that can possibly give us more answers. And it’s out of our reach. It’s the most like heart wrenching feeling ever.”

Then the couple learned both of their vehicles needed brake repairs and new tires. As Christians, Sean and Jessica relied on their faith in God to keep them going.

"It’s brought me closer to God and it’s made me thankful that our family is taken care of daily. He’s always telling me when I pray. He says, 'you know what, I got this.'"

Their church, New Song in Oceanside CA, asked CBN’s Helping the Home Front to get involved.   Pastor Hall Seed invited Sean and Jessica over to let them know we were fixing the brakes and buying four new tires for both vehicles.

Pastor Hal says, “We’re going to do that this afternoon. We’re going to go down there and get your car fixed. And CBN’s going to pay for it."

Jessica exclaims, “Oh my goodness!”

Then pastor Hal told them the church would use CBN funds to pay for Cohen's specialized diet for a year.

Jessica says, “Wow, that’s amazing.  Just last night we had to go buy three almond milks for him and we had to think, 'okay, we have $10 to make this work. Like, where can we find a coupon for it?' That’s amazing.”

Pastor Hal says, “And that specialist you’ve been praying about?  We are going to pay for that too.  All we have to do is set the schedule."

Pastor Hal took Sean and Jessica to Cornerstone to repair the brakes and buy new tires.  Then he took them shopping to get stocked up on food for Cohen.  And the family set the schedule for the specialist who can give them answers about Cohen’s condition.

Jessica concludes, “God is so good. Even when you can’t see, he’s working. He’s working if you could just trust in Him, he’s always working and he’s always on your side.”

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Did you know?

CBN's Helping the Home Front partners with local churches to meet the needs of military families. We offer hope and practical assistance to our armed forces and their loved ones.  Learn more.

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