My first son, Noah, was born on October 30, 2000 with a congenital heart defect that had not been detected in utero. After being transported to two different hospital NICU's, he was given a low chance of survival. He was transported to Children's Hospital Colorado as a last hope about 36 hours after birth, and in less than an hour after arriving in the CHC Cath Lab he was given a proper diagnosis and a "temporary fix," and as his parents we were given hope that our son might survive. He had open-heart surgery when he was 18 days old and was released in time to celebrate his first Christmas at home. But his story with CHC doesn't end there....
When Noah was 12 he started having severe knee and ankle pain. He ended up needing four orthopedic surgeries over 18 months to correct some alignment issues. (These were performed at Children’s, of course!) In May of 2015, he was airlifted to Children's from Colorado Springs following a parasailing accident in April which led to a build-up of his spinal fluid pressure. His attitude remained so positive through all of these challenges - he is truly a trooper!
Noah is now 20 years old, and has grown into a wonderful young man who makes us so proud! He is attending Rollins College in Winter Park, FL with plans to then go to medical school. Every Friday for the last three years of high school he volunteered at Children's (via Memorial Central). His favorite "job" there was feeding babies and practicing his conversation skills with the Spanish-speaking patients and their families. We are so excited to have front row seats to the rest of his life!
Our time at CHC was bittersweet...We had many fears and worries, ups and downs, but we were treated with so much care and compassion that sometimes we as the parents felt like the patients! We cannot say enough about the doctors and nurses who tended to Noah (and us!) during our stay. We are forever indebted to Children's Hospital Colorado...the Courage Classic is just one small way we can give back.
With all the uncertainty that enveloped us during Noah's first year of life, we held close to the hope that someday we would be a "normal" (ha!) family, doing fun, family things. We looked forward to picnics, playdates, family and school celebrations, and just being together without worrying about illness. Well, we've reached that point. The Classic is a great way to celebrate that. I have been blessed with the time to train instead of sitting next to his bed in a hospital; he has been blessed with strong legs and a now-healthy heart filled with the drive to take on the world.
Even though the ride is virtual this year, the challenges patients like Noah are facing are not. Please consider even a small donation - every little bit helps!