Ron and Michelle Massengale of St. George apologize to their infant son, Cameron, every time they have to feed him.
Cameron suffers a birth defect that left two holes in his heart and the aorta partially obstructed.In order to strengthen Cameron for upcoming surgery, his parents must force-feed him through a plastic tube in his nose, which irritates the baby.
"He has to get so much to eat every day," Ron Massengale says.
Doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City say Cameron needs surgery within six months. The surgery is complicated by his tiny heart and the fragility of infancy.
The larger the heart, the better are Cameron's chances to survive an operation. So he must eat to grow.
But the costs of Cameron's medical care also are complicating matters.
The Massengales own the Book Peddler, a used-book store along Main Street in St. George.
They have always managed to get along without insurance by making regular payments with their doctors. But this is different.
Cameron's open heart surgery will cost several hundred thousand dollars, according to Massengale.
"We're trying to get on Medicaid, but the bills keep piling up. I don't know what to do," he said.
Recently, US WEST learned of the situation and agreed not to shut off the family's phone services.
Still, he insists he is not one to ask for help, but times are tough.
Mountain America Credit Union has set up the "Cameron Massengale Trust" for anyone willing to donate.