I am riding in the Courage Classic because I feel passionate about the work of the Pediatric Heart Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado. All the patients we treat inspire us with their courage and strength. By riding in honor of our patients, I am reminded how the work we do helps change lives. I am dedicating my ride in honor of our patient Beau and other children like him, who are all heros in their own way. Here is Beau's as told by his mother Laura.
Beau was born with a heart murmur. At the age of 5 he was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta. We live in Steamboat Springs, which is about 3 hours from Denver, which makes facilitating doctor’s appointments very challenging. After our first appointment with Dr. Darst I knew we were in the right hands. Dr. Darst was amazing and facilitated a care conference between the interventional cardiologists and the surgeons to determine the best course of action. Rather than trying to coordinate care with multiple doctor’s appointments from 3 hours away, Dr. Darst and his team presented Beau’s case to the Care team for us.
We ultimately decided to stent Beau’s coarct. Dr. Morgan and his team were outstanding. Beau’s recollection of the surgery has only positive memories (lots of gifts, ice cream and hugs). As a physician, I knew way too much about the potential complications and as a mother I was terrified. That being said, the entire staff at Children’s helped ease those fears every step of the way.
We climbed a mountain in Steamboat, Hahns Peak before his procedure and before we knew of his diagnosis. He made it, although was slow and complained his legs hurt a lot. We climbed it again after his procedure and he virtually ran to the top of the mountain! The difference was night and day. He was so proud after climbing Hahns Peak that he wanted to climb a bigger and harder peak. That led to our decision to try to climb a 14er.
We climbed Mt Sherman approximately 3 months after his procedure. We experienced every emotion along the trail, from tears, to anger, to giddiness but ultimately at the summit it was nothing but pure joy! He was so proud of his accomplishment and procedure was the last thing on his mind. He was so thrilled to take a picture up top to prove to his doctors what he had done.
Since his procedure Beau has thrived in every way possible. Physically he is stronger, and emotionally our entire family has grown as well.
Beau just turned 6 and can’t wait to bag some more peaks this summer. I can’t thank everyone enough. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!!!!!!