I ride to give hope to Children's Hospital Colorado patients like William, or as us nurses know him: Willy-C.
William has overcome more in his few years than many of us will face in a lifetime. He's full of spunk, joy, and attitude and I'm so lucky to have taken care of him in the CHCO Heart Institute. Here's his story, in his mother's words:
"William is an amazing 9 year old boy who has been through so much since the day he was born, he has defeated all odds since he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at just days old. He was in the hospital for the first month of his life tubes everywhere but came out of it so strong that is the moment that he became my hero the fight that he had that young was so amazing. William had many medications and countless visits to the cardiology clinic hit every milestone growing up.
Our lives took a turn for the worse on May 24th William was admitted to the hospital and his heart was in A-FIB they attempted to shock it back into normal sinus rhythm but it didn't work and with William getting worse by the minute. They then decided that a heart transplant was his only option but in order to even become a candidate for that he would need to be placed on a heart pump, but his body was shutting down he had to be put on ecmo for days so that his body and organs would be well enough to get the heart pump placed.
Once he was off ecmo he got the heart pump placed and at that point we knew that we were going to be in the hospital for a very long time, William kept his spirits up and always had a smile on his face!! Once we got the call that he was up for a heart it didn't seem real like this is actually happening it was one of the most scary, exciting times of our life. He has recovered and done so well since his transplant and I want to thank everyone who has helped and supported William and our family along the way. William has grown so much since being released from the hospital and everything has been perfect all check ups have gone the best way possible I’m so proud of him he makes everything he has been through easy!"
The picture above was taken on William's last night in the hospital, where he lived in the Heart Institute for four months. My time as William's nurse taught me lessons I still can’t put into words about patience, strength, and resilience. He gave me my first experience as tooth fairy on night shift. We built forts together and colored star wars pages together and watched about 1000 dog videos on YouTube. I’ll always remember seeing this kid hooked up to a VAD with a PICC dangling from his arm, howling with laughter at a golden retriever going down a slide, and being floored by a child’s ability to choose joy in the hardest of circumstances.
By donating to my ride in honor of William, you can contribute to furthering and improving care for kids like William at Children’s Hospital Colorado so they can have the best possible hospitalizations and more importantly, the best chances at getting home. CHCO is the only place I’ve ever worked as a nurse and the only place I ever hope to, because William is just one of many kids who’s lives I’ve seen saved here. Thank you for donating to help this incredible organization continue this very important work