Bake sale for Baby Ensley planned for January 20

January 17, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

Nicole and Chris Cowart have been spending too much time at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando lately. Normally Chis spends his days building homes in Boca Grande, but an unfortunate situation changed that recently.
Their 8-month-old baby girl, Ensley, was having trouble processing food and was recently diagnosed with a rectal malformation.
“She had a mass on her colon and a tethered cord,” Chris said. “She has to have reconstructive surgery and then another surgery to remove the mass. The size of the mass as of right now is unknown, but it’s at the base of her spinal cord. Once they go in to do the reconstructive surgery to remove the mass and do a biopsy, another surgery will be required to fix the tethered cord. A final surgery will be required to reverse the colostomy.”
The family has a long and bumpy road ahead of them, and a good friend wanted to help.
Justin Schwarz is also a homebuilder in Boca Grande and wanted to support his fellow island contractor and his family.
After dealing with the misfortune of a stillborn baby several years ago, Chris and Nicole welcomed baby Ensley to the world about 8 months ago. Everything seemed fine regarding her health until a few weeks ago.
A bake sale fundraiser is planned for Monday, Jan. 20 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the park area next to Hudson’s Grocery.
A donation bucket will also be set up at Kappy’s Market in Railroad Plaza. Proceeds will go to the Cowart family to help with Ensley’s medical bills.
“Any surgery is difficult for any person to deal with – I can’t imagine how scary this must for an eight-month-old baby,” said Schwarz, who organized the bake sale with the help of Steve Kaplan, owner of Kappy’s Market. “Steve was so kind and helpful, and I know the people of Boca Grande are very compassionate … I hope they will support this cause and help this family. They’re really going through a very hard time.”
The Cowarts returned home with their baby girl a few days ago, but they’ll be taking Ensley back to Orlando for three more surgical procedures soon.
The family lives in Punta Gorda, and Chris commutes to Gasparilla Island to construct homes in Boca Grande every day. But he’s been missing many days of work due to his daughter’s hospital stay.
If you cannot make it to the bake sale and you’d like to make a donation to the family, search for “Miss Ensley” at