I was born blue on June 8, 1988 at Highland Park Hospital. It was 6 hours later that doctors realized that my heart had not properly developed and I was rushed in an ambulance to what used to be known as Children’s Memorial Hospital here in Chicago. I didn’t even have a name yet. Doctors diagnosed me with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, as well as various other defects, and I had my first open heart surgery at 2 days old. Two other surgeries followed, at 9 months old and then later when I was 2 and a half. Throughout my childhood I was able to play softball (badly), and participate in activities such as gymnastics, ice skating, and theatre, all despite my condition. I grew to love my cardiologists and technicians at my annual checkups and gained a strong passion for spreading CHD awareness. Even as a child I was always so proud of my scar.
Not long after StHS was founded, Francie was talking about the foundation to a stranger at a salon. That stranger happened to be one of my mom’s closest friends who had spent many hours with me in the hospital as an infant. Phone numbers were traded and the rest is history. It has been an absolute pleasure to volunteer with Saving tiny Hearts nearly since they began.
I graduated from Indiana University in 2010 with a major in Communications and a minor in Fundraising. As an adult in my late 20s, I am thrilled to be a part of the Saving tiny Hearts Society and help raise money for life saving medical research. While I have been healthy for many years, CHD patients like myself are never cured. I will most likely require a valve replacement at some point in the future and I continue to visit my cardiologist annually. I am so proud to have been a CHD kid, to be a CHD adult, and to be a part of the Saving tiny Hearts Society.
Written by LaurenView All Stories