FIGHT FOR MIA: Eureka Baby On Life Support Faces Heart Transplant

This is a press release from Nicole Dahl Creative:

Ciarra, Jossy, Mia, & Mike shortly after Mia was born

Ciarra Tavares and Mike Grisback’s Facebook pages are filled with adorable photos and precious moments shared with their two daughters, Jossy, age five, and Mia, 20-weeks-old. The love this Eureka family exudes is moving, but the situation they are facing is near unbearable.

Just a few months ago, after 40 weeks of anticipation, the beautiful Miona “Mia” Grisback made her debut into this world, weighing in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Her dad, Mike, held Mia in his hands, taking in the miracle of his new daughter. Her mom, Ciarra, shared quiet, tender moments with Mia, getting to know her little girl as they worked out their new routine. Jossy, all smiles, took on her role of big sister like a natural. It was perfection.

Mia, with bright eyes & wide smiles

Until September 2, when then two-day-old Mia was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). A heart murmur led to an EKG which led to an echocardiogram that revealed a double outlet right ventricle, pulmonary stenosis, and an unbalanced AV canal. Baby Mia’s heart is only half developed, leaving the right side of her heart to do all of the work while her oxygenated blood mixes with unoxygenated blood.

There is no cure or quick fix for Mia’s heart defect. She will require a transplant when she gets older. In the meantime, doctors determined baby Mia would need open heart surgery to survive.

Mia heading off to surgery

On January 1, 2018, Mia, along with her parents, headed down to UCSF for a Glenn Shunt, a relatively routine open-heart surgery for CHD babies. On January 4, 2018, just after 12:00pm, knowing the operation would give their daughter a fighting chance at life, Ciarra and Mike put their little one in the hands of a highly experienced surgical team.

Mia made it through her first surgery like a champ, seemingly on a smooth road to recovery but, days after her operation, complications ensued. The tiny infant’s left lung collapsed while her right lung was retaining fluid. On January 5, 2018, a parent’s worst nightmare occurred. Little Mia, barely four months old, coded and was immediately put on life support. There she remains.

Baby Mia on life support

Her parents call her a warrior. Her doctors refer to her as a fighter. She is getting some color back to her skin, her heart is contracting, her numbers are strong. Miona Grisback is a warrior indeed and, yes, she has a fight ahead of her. Her kidneys, brain, and liver have been affected by this ordeal. Her family is calling for a miracle.

Mia fights for her life with her dad by her side

As baby Mia fights for her life and her parents stay vigilantly by her side at UCSF Hospital, we their community must rise and act as their support and strength. The cost of travel to and from the bay area, temporary housing, and care for this family’s older child is of current concern, while medical bills are of future concern.


Here are some of the ways to help Mia the Heart Warrior:

Donate to Mia’s GoFundMe:

Buy a Drive-Thru Dinner: On Thursday, February 1, in Fortuna, pick up a fully prepared dinner including pulled pork, coleslaw, mac or potato salad, and a brownie. Please purchase presale $10 ticket at Wyckoff’s plumbing (Fortuna), Redwood Thrift (Fortuna),

Bartow’s Jewelers (Fortuna), The Humboldt Corner (Fortuna), Bikini Brews (Eurkea),

State Farm in Henderson Center (Eureka), or Ridgetop Café (Fernbridge)

Buy a Raffle Ticket: Raffle tickets will be sold at the Drive-thru Dinner event and can be purchased by contacting Bonnie Sturlock or Brandy Weller through their Facebook pages. Prizes include a photo session from Keri Messina, gift certificate to Humboldt Sweets, Dinner at Double D’s Steakhouse & much more. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. Drawing will be held at the end of the dinner event.

Share Mia’s Story on Social Media: Like and follow Mia’s Facebook support page at Share informative fundraising posts and spread the word with the hashtag #fightformia



  • There is one thing that is really needed. Most State supported medical facilities are in areas easily accessed by urbanites. Travel to those places from the far flung rural areas can end up causing more money than the treatment itself. There is, as far as I know, no State support to help with those costs.

    I wish the best of outcomes. Always children can surprise with their power of recuperation.

  • Beautiful writing in the press release. Nice job conveying the emotions of the situation.

  • I had a daughter who had to go to UCSF twice when she was born and there is a place in Eureka Called California Childrens Services that had paid for my daughter and family stay there. They were located one block past the Courthouse on the left hand side. I am not sure if there still there but it is worth a try. Or your Dr. Can get in touch for Angel Funds to try and help with expenses. I pray all goes well and prayers for the family also. My name is Michelle if you wish Ciarrea you can call me (707) 834 2733 and I will try to put you in contacts with help if I can.

  • California Children’s Services is still there at the Community Wellness Center 908 7th street in Eureka. Likely the hospital social workers have hooked this sweet family up to them as it’s a state program, but here is a link with phone numbers and info for ANYONE who has a child with a chronic illness or condition: they are great people and want to help their community.

  • Sharpen your pencil

    Hope your little girl pulls through Mikey, hopefully heals quickly and you all can get back to making good memories soon!

  • Redwood County Mama

    The Shriners, Kiwanis, and Ronald Mc Donald house in Sacramento all help with medical expenses and lodging for children whose parents need help. Locally at the Humboldt Area Foundation, there are funds available for parents to defray travel expenses. See


  • Bluehaired Hillbetty

    This brings tears, my youngest had problems at birth and was flown to UCSF courtesy of California Children’s Services. No stress for our family, such a Godsend.

  • I just got back form UCSF with my son and DCC Department of childrens services withh help with most of it even medical cost. Talk to department of human rescourses at UCSF they can help alot. God bless and many strong prayers.

  • This is overwhelmingly emotional and unimaginable. My heart aches for this family. May God bless this child and her loved ones and bring them serenity in all they have been and will be enduring.
    Thinking of you and precious baby Mia with much love.

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