Sunday, December 24, 2000
Steamboat Springs On Christmas morning, 13-month-old Kyjah Merrin Burandt was in Denver at her grandparents house, opening her presents with shouts of glee while her parents waited for a phone call that could save her life.
Kyjah, who recently celebrated her first birthday, is on the top of a national list to get liver, colon and intestine organ donations.
The baby was born with gastroschisis, in which the intestine and colon develop outside of the body during pregnancy.
The Burandts, a Hayden couple, have been attempting to find a way to pay for the organ transplants that may save their daughter's life.
After a donation jar filled with money was stolen from the McDonald's on U.S. 40 in early October, local residents gave more than $13,000 to help Kyjah try to get on organ transplant lists across the country.
The Burandts received individual donations for as much as $500. Since then, Denver residents have set jars out in the metropolitan Denver area to solicit more donations.
Now the Burandts think they may be getting word from a hospital within the next few weeks.
"She's as high on the list as she can be without being in the intensive care unit," said Kate Burandt, Kyjah's mother.
Kate and Matt Burandt have been staying in Denver with Matt's parents so they can be near Kyjah's doctors who work at Children's Memorial Hospital. They will be coming back to Western Colorado next weekend for New Year's Eve, Kate Burandt said.
"She's really hanging in there," Kate Burandt said.