This Fundraiser Supports a Lewes Toddler Who Lost His Leg

Photo by Maria DeForrest

The Clark DeForrest family faced the unthinkable when three-year-old Zeke lost his leg in a tragic accident. Here’s how the community can help.

On June 7, 2023, Maria Clark DeForrest was faced with a tragedy no mother should have to endure. Her three-year-old son, Zeke, had a tragic accident that ultimately caused him to lose the lower half of his right leg.

“That night, I was worried about every other child of ours in some capacity or another,” DeForrest says, recalling the day the tragedy took place. “The last thing on my mind was worrying about Jonathan and Zeke doing their normal yard duties and favorite past-time as father and son.”

Thanks to the quick actions of the family and the care of the on-site rescue team, Zeke’s life was spared and he and his mother were helicoptered to Wilmington for emergency medical care. Doctors quickly discerned it wasn’t possible to salvage the limb due to extensive tissue loss. The toddler has undergone numerous operations in the past week, including the initial amputation of his right leg below the knee.

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The road to recovery is a long one, with more surgeries still ahead to ensure the removal of debris in the original wound and avoid potential infection. As the family heals from the tragedy and tries to adapt to their new normal, one thing is certain: Zeke will wear a series of prosthetics throughout the rest of his life, and will need access to modified equipment to achieve the best quality of life possible.

Make a donation to help Zeke and the Clark DeForrest Family

With an amputation in someone so young, costs build up throughout childhood. As Zeke grows, his prosthetics will have to change, too. This is where community support comes in.

“By instruction and strong suggestion directly from the Nemours Children’s Hospital (A.I. DuPont) of Wilmington, Delaware, we are working congruently with the HelpHopeLive.org to raise a lifelong Campaign fund for Zeke,” DeForrest explains.

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The online fundraiser will support Zeke’s ongoing medical care and provide rehabilitation equipment and adaptation requirements for the family’s home. The support from the community will first and foremost help the family in mind, body and spirit as they heal and adapt together. Both of Zeke’s parents are hard-working small business owners in Delaware, and the financial and spiritual support is vital for the entire family in this trying time.

Related: Nemours: 30 Years of Pediatric Cancer Treatment in Delaware

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