Strangers help family of ailing newborn

Posted at 7:59 PM, Feb 26, 2015

WYOMING, Mich. -- Elease Koehn just turned one month old. She's in the Helen Devos Children's Hospital, and she's fighting for her life.

"We noticed she wasn't eating right, so we brought her [to the hospital on January] 28th and they checked her platelet count," Brandon Koehn, Elease's father said. "They said she was deathly ill," he added.

Koehn said he learned from doctors that Elease contracted a viral infection. What it is exactly, isn't clear.

"All of a sudden it took a turn for the worse, and it damaged her liver and her kidneys. Then she started bleeding to death," he explained.

When Koehn put out a request on Facebook for prayer for his daughter's healing, he got more than he bargained for.

Hair stylist Kathleen Peterson said she "heard about their story on Facebook, and it was touching." She said when she read about Elease's battle, she felt the need to do something for the family of four.

Peterson got the idea and permission to hold a cut-a-thon at Lamar Hair Studio in Wyoming. Stylists cut hair for $10. Peterson said all proceeds will go to the family and will help pay for non-medical expenses the family may incur as they take care of Elease.

Koehn said Elease's condition has improved some, but prayers are still needed.