I have the honor of running this year's Boston Marathon with Children's Hospital Miles for Miracles team. I will be running and fundraising on behalf of my daughter Brigid, who just celebrated her 3rd transplant-aversery on January 9th. Brigid's connection with BCH is strong and her story demonstrates best the Hospital’s motto “Until Every Child is Well”.
On July 28, 2015 Brigid was born prematurely at 31 and a half weeks due to a viral illness she contracted in utero. Brigid spent 79 days in the NICU at Brigham and Women's Hospital where she was followed by many specialists from Boston Children's Hospital, many of whom still follow her today. Within a couple months of coming home from the NICU her team decided they needed to do a liver biopsy as her liver was not improving. The following day her team told us the results indicated Brigid would need a liver transplant to survive. She spent a night in the hospital recovering and came home the day before Christmas Eve.
A week later, on New Years day of 2016, Brigid's health deteriorated rapidly and she was in great discomfort. We knew she could no longer be at home and she was rushed to the emergency room at Children's Hospital after being baptized. Shortly after admission and thanks to the advocacy of her doctors alongside her family, Brigid was listed for liver transplant on the national organ registry. Miraculously days later Brigid received her transplant thanks to a family who made an extremely selfless decision, to donate life in their time of grief. 39 days later Brigid was able to be discharged home and was finally free of pain.There have been bumps along the way but Brigid finally was able to grow and thrive. In July, she celebrated her first birthday. A day she and her teams fought hard for.
Brigid had to face a new hurdle in 2017. Born deaf in her right ear, we realized she was now beginning to lose the hearing in her left ear as well. In October 2017 she underwent cochlear implantation surgery for her right ear. We were there as they activated the implant a month later and were able to witness her hearing on that side for the first time.
Sadly in January of 2018 Brigid did lose the rest of her hearing in her left ear. Shortly after, Brigid underwent another surgery to receive a second cochlear implant. In October 2018 Brigid started pre-school, a milestone that would have been impossible without her teams of physicians, nurses and all of the staff at Boston Children's Hospital. Throughout all of her surgeries, illnesses and over 250 outpatient appointments, they have been there for her every single day.
Brigid is a strong and determined little girl, qualities that have helped her through some of the early adversity she has had to face in life. She loves to sing and her favorite songs are (Perfect-Ed Sheeran, Broken Halos -Chris Stapleton, Fairytale of New York-The Pogues) and she does a mean karaoke version of each song. She also looks up to her big sister Rori and loves her new liver. The day after Brigid’s transplant-aversery, she could be heard telling her big sister that even though the party was over she still had a new liver. It's memories like these that the BCH family have managed to give to our family and many others, which is why we are honored to run and fundraise for Boston Childrens Hospital. For these reasons, I would greatly appreciate any donations that will support them in the daily work they do.