Hilton Head store auctions necklace for premature baby's medical bills

dburley@islandpacket.comSeptember 27, 2013 

Six months pregnant, Terra Scoggins walked into her kitchen last October for a glass of water.

She'd felt sick that morning and stayed home from work.

She ached all over.

"I thought it was just back pain," she said. "I'm a hairstylist. I stand all day."

She knew it was more than that when her water broke.

Paramedics rushed her to Hilton Head Hospital.

Their grim looks said it all.

"I knew it was too soon," Scoggins said.

Two hours later, Daxton Marshall Scoggins was born. He weighed two pounds, eight ounces.

Doctors incubated Dax on the fourth try. He was then airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he spent the next five-and-a-half months, his throat, stomach and lungs a tangle of tubes.

During his hospital stay, Dax developed chronic lung disease from the ventilators. The illness and resulting tracheotomy tube paralyzed his vocal cords. It might be years before he can make a sound.

"I've never heard my baby cry. I've never heard what he sounds like," his mother said.

Now Dax is home in Bluffton, a veteran of four surgeries with two more to come.

But the process of saving his life means Terra, 36, and Dax's father, Charles Scoggins, 30, have racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills.

The couple are small-business owners -- Terra owns a salon on Hilton Head Island and Charles co-owns Double D Construction. Neither has insurance. The constant care Dax needs has forced Terra to cut back on her hours, which has led to the loss of some clients.

"We struggle," she said. "It's day-to-day."

But not every client has left. And one is doing more than just sticking with her hairdresser.

Brenda Fronczak, owner of The Goldsmith Shop on Hilton Head, is auctioning a starfish pendant and necklace to raise money to pay Dax's medical bills.

The 14-karat white-gold necklace and .5-karat diamond pendant retails at $1,475.

"I've known Terra for years. She's my hairdresser. And Dax's story really touched my heart," Fronczak said.

Terra said she was at first embarrassed by Fronczak's generosity -- "but finally my pride went out the window. I'm doing this for Dax."

Dax has other supporters.

Terra has received comments on her Facebook page from well-wishers as far away as Kansas and Missouri.

Some have given money to an online fundraiser for Dax, which seeks to raise more than $30,000.

Now, at 11 months old, Dax weighs 17 pounds and has the developmental ability of 6-month-old baby, Terra said.

He doesn't crawl yet, but his parents are teaching him to roll over and sit up on his own.

"He wears a little helmet," Terra said. "He's so cute, like a little football player."

They want to show him other things, as well.

"I can't wait to teach Dax to be giving and help people," she said.

If you want to bid

To bid on the necklace, go to the Goldsmith Shop Facebook page. Bidding starts at $500 and ends Sunday.

To donate, go to the Dax Scoggins Medical Relief Fund.

Follow reporter Dan Burley on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.

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