I have been a patient at Boston Children's Hospital since 2015. I have fundraised to bring attention to Cardiac Unit that supported my family through the correction of my heart defect that was discovered in my adult life. In 2018 I ran the NYC Marathon in support of that Unit and our love for the Hospital. In 2019 our admiration for Boston Children's Hospital reached a new level.
In August of 2019 we were blessed with the birth of our second child, Cotter. Cotter was born a healthy 9.7 pounds and completed our family. When he was two weeks old he started showing signs of health concerns. He had aggressive reactions to eating and began to lose all coloring while eating. He would scream in pain, his little body would thrash around and eventually lose all coloring in his body leaving a ring of blue around his lips. His pediatricians rightfully became increasingly concerned and sent us directly to Boston Children's Hospital. That first night, I sat in the Emergency Room holding my newborn with an oddly calm demeanor. I knew I was exactly where we were supposed to be. I knew this hospital was the best place in the world for our baby.
That first stay in the hospital was full of theories: a failing heart, seizures, asphyxiation and simply unknown. Our tiny baby was a medical mystery. They admitted us into the hospital to begin to rule out all of the theories. We met many doctors, observed many screenings, and watching as amazing staff cared for us and the families in our wing. Three days later we were sent home cleared of all immediate dangers, but were to be monitored. Within a few days of being home, the hospital had not forgotten us, we were continued to be followed by four specialist. Over the course of the next few months, Cotter and I traveled to almost all of the satellite offices Children's has. Each one of them was full of support I had never experienced before. From the doctors, to the nurses, to the parking attendants, everyone worked endlessly to help us feel calm.
Simultaneously, Sophie continued to have chronic lung infections and required the support of a pulmonologist. Of course, BCH was our number one pick. In her initial appointment her Doctor told us, "you are here now and we are going to get to the bottom of this".
It was then decided that Cotter needed a surgical procedure to continue to rule out the need of immediate emergency intervention. This January we took our five month old to the surgical floor of the hospital. Leading up to the procedure Ryan and I were very anxious of the unknown. We arrived and were escorted to the pre-op space, and from the moment we walked in, I had never felt more at ease. Every.single.staff.member. greeted us with a smile. Every.single.staff.member. made us feel prepared. You knew that each family there was there for a different reason, but they made each of us feel like we were the most important patient that day. The nurses stopped by and connected with the baby, they spent their time playing with him and bonding with him. When it was time for the nurses to bring him to the operating room, he laughed, babbled and smiled all the way back. Moments like this are common at Boston Children's Hospital.
We were one of the lucky families that day, we received amazing results and Cotter is continuing on his path of development and growth (while still being a medical mystery). However, every family that walks into the doors of BCH is one of the lucky families.
It is such a special place that impacts so many lives all over the world. Our family of four now continues to be followed by six different specialist located in four different Boston Children's locations, and each one of those specialists works tirelessly, "Until Every Child Is Well"
In 2016 I began to fundraise under "Team Whole Heart". At the time this was directly related to my heart defect. This time Team Whole Heart has a new meaning. My family is my entire heart. This hospital continues to support my entire heart. Now I swore that I would never run a marathon again, and I STAND BY THAT. This June, Sophie , myself and whoever wants to join our team, will be walking in the six mile Boston Children's Hospital Walk. Please consider supporting our page and our team.