Baby's life saved by machine funded through donations

When Ruby Munoz was 2 months old, her heart failed.

Her mother Haley Munoz took her to UC Davis Children's Hospital thinking she had the flu. Then 12 hours later, Ruby was put on life support.

The Extra-Corporeal Life Support machine helped save Ruby's life. The machine, also called ECMO, took the pressure off of Ruby's heart so it could recover.

"The machine takes the blood out of the heart, runs it through an artificial heart, an artificial lung, and then returns it back to their body so that their heart and lungs don't have to work so hard and it can take time to heal," UC Davis Pediatric ICU Nurse Laura Kinney said. "It was the only thing that was going to save Ruby's life."

Ruby was on the machine for two months before she was cleared to go home.

"We're fortunate that they had the ECMO machine [at the Children's Hospital], which is not available everywhere," Munoz said. "She was on it for so long. I know, without a doubt in my mind, that it was the only thing keeping her alive. So, if we had gone to a different hospital, we would for sure had a very very different outcome."

The Children's Miracle Network helped pay for several of the ECMO machines. Donations from people in our community helped save Ruby's life – and continue to save the lives of other children.

Now, eight months later, Ruby is doing great.

Here's how you can continue to support the ECMO program:

News10 and the Children's Miracle Network is teaming up to host the 20-hour Give for Kids Telethon (#Give4Kids) on Friday to help raise money for UC Davis Children's Hospital.

From 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. you can call 1-877-719-KIDS (5437) to donate using all forms of payment, including cash through a pledge.

Or go to to donate online.

When you make your donation, you can designate that it goes to ECMO machines or you can keep it unrestricted. Whether or not you say how you want your donation to be used, it will be used on patient care at the Children's Hospital. It's the cornerstone of the Children's Miracle Network -- money given by our community stays in our community.


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