Airline tickets were donated to a Carson City family battling finances to visit their 5-week-old daughter born with a hole in her heart.
Molly Inman, marketing supervisor for Slotworld Casino, said owner Steve Taylor is donating two open-ended round trip tickets to Todd and Marisela Aguilar.
The couple's fifth child, Crystal, born July 17 at Carson-Tahoe Hospital, is being cared for at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif.
She underwent an 11-hour surgery last month to repair the hole and a crushed aorta.
"A cocktail waitress brought to my attention that there was a sick baby in our general area. Then I read the article and it touched my heart so much," Inman said. "When I showed it to Steve, he said let's give them airline tickets to at least lessen their burden."
Todd Aguilar, an information technician with the state's Public Employee Benefits Program, is the sole support for the family and has said that the unexpected cost of traveling to California has added stress to the family's already strained finances.
In addition to little Crystal, the Aguilars are parents to Allen, 14, Adriana, 6, Kevin, 4, and Yesenia, 2. While Todd Aguilar stays behind to care for the children, Marisela has been making the journey to Palo Alto to be with the baby daughter she's held only once.
Aguilar said doctors will attempt to take the baby off of ventilators today for the fourth time. The three previous attempts were unsuccessful, he said. If she is able to breathe on her own, she'll be transferred to St. Mary's Hospital in Reno.
The tickets being donated by Slotworld will be used by the Aguilars on Labor Day Weekend if they're able to find someone to ca re for the children here, he said.E
A co-worker of Aguilar's, who asked not to be identified, also donated a ticket to the couple and about $100 in donations came into a medical fund in Crystal's name at Bank of America.
"We're hanging in there," Aguilar said Monday. "This is very generous of the casino to do this."
YOU CAN HELP:
Donations can be made to help offset travel expenses for the Aguilars.
Crystal Ann Aguilar Medical Fund
Bank of America Account No. 004967550602