KINGSFORD, Mich. (WZMQ) – A young family is gearing up for a significant event as 2-year-old Westlynn Rae Andreini is set to undergo surgery at a Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee this week. Mikayla Gibby, a devoted mother of multiple special needs children, opened up about their journey, and the support they’ve received.
In a heartwarming display of community spirit, a car parade recently filled the streets to greet Westlynn and her family as they prepared for their journey. Westlynn has faced a unique challenge since birth, being born with paralyzed vocal cords. This condition has necessitated the use of a tracheostomy tube throughout her infancy and early years.
Mikayla Gibby, Westlynn’s mother, spoke about the challenges of caring for her daughter, saying, “We clean everything on it every day, it’s a lot of upkeep. Most trach families have a nurse, an in-home nurse, but we’ve never had one. There’s none available in the U.P. There’s a very limited selection for pediatrics, let alone like in-home nursing as a whole. So it’s mainly been me that handles it all.”
Despite the difficulties, Westlynn’s family is hopeful that this surgery will mark the beginning of a new chapter, one where they can eventually remove the trach device. As they eagerly anticipate this milestone, Gibby shared her gratitude for the growing support system they’ve found through social media.
Westlynn’s passion for cars inspired her mother to organize a heartwarming car cruise event, which drew a remarkable response from the community. Gibby explained her motivation, saying, “I have a lot of followers who have special needs kids as well, and they do it for them in bigger cities. So I thought, you know, there are a lot of cool cars around, and many people like to get together and go for a ride. So why not try to figure something out?”
The community’s response was overwhelming, with Gibby sharing, “There were so many people interested. It blew me away. I think about 300 people originally expressed interest, and then I created a group, and it narrowed down to the select few who did show up. But it was a nice turnout.”
Westlynn’s challenges go beyond her vocal cord condition as she also struggles with sleep apnea. Doctors have been unable to determine the cause of her vocal cord problem, but they remain optimistic that a tonsillectomy, and a sedated scope procedure will help Westlynn breathe more normally and get better rest.
Gibby expressed her appreciation for the support they’ve received, stating, “We have a few select family and friends and some people in town who definitely support us, along with other special needs families and those who have followed our journey. We stay at the Ronald McDonald House every time. They’ve been like a godsend for us because if we didn’t have them, we’d be paying hundreds in hotel costs. And it’s a lot of money. It’s hard. We travel four hours away for every procedure, every appointment.”
2-year-old Westlynn is scheduled for surgery on Friday, with her family remaining hopeful that she’ll be back home within two weeks. The community’s outpouring of support continues to be a source of strength for this resilient family.
Gibby is very active on social media, especially on her TikTok account, where she builds support for other parents of special needs children. Gibby’s TikTok account, ‘medmamamik’ has over 207,000 followers.
Ronald McDonald House charities support families of children with various medical concerns. For more information about the Ronald McDonald House charities, visit: