I have the honor of running this year's Boston Marathon with Children's Hospital Miles for Miracles team. This will be my second year running and fundraising on behalf of my daughter Brigid, who just celebrated her 4th transplant anniversary on January 9th. Brigid's connection with BCH is strong and her story truly demonstrates 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. Medically, Brigid's 2019 has thankfully been less eventful, regular checkups and some medication changes have allowed her thrive and grow. She started Pre-K in October, loves to read, sing and play with her friends. 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 but without Boston Children's Hospital we are acutely aware that she would not be here to celebrate all of these milestones. This is the reason I am honored to run and fundraise for Boston Children's Hospital, and for these reasons, I am committed to give back to the hospital that has helped Brigid and so many other children. Any donations would be greatly appreciated and 100% of the donations will go directly to the hospital to support the lifesaving work they do.