Courage classic may look a little different this year, but the reason we ride hasn't changed at all. I’m thrilled I still am able to get out and ride with friends to honor and acknowledge the resiliency that our patients show us on a daily basis. Despite the chaos that 2020 has ensued, congenital heart disease is an ongoing battle for many. The CHD research and progress thus far is astonishing, but there is SO much more to be done. I feel so privileged that I GET to “work” with and learn from these amazing CHD warriors.
This year my virtual ride is dedicated to Victoria, a 7 month old diagnosed with complex cardiac defects. In her short life Tori has had several procedures, surgeries and hospitalizations, and although there have been setbacks along the way, Tori is now home and thriving. During her hospitalizations, Tori quickly won "best hair" of the unit, and since being home it looks like she's really loving spa days with Mom. Tori’s smile and giggles light up any room, but really her relentless strength is what leaves me in awe.
Please read Tori's story below, written by her mother:
Victoria Grace Morales was born on December 30th 2019. While in utero she was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries, Double Outlet Right Ventricle, Ventricular Septal Defects, and Pulmonary Stenosis. She had a catheter procedure at 4 days old to create a hole in between her two atria then at 9 days old she had a stent placed in her Patent Ductus Arteriosus. At 3 weeks old she was diagnosed with permanent severe hearing loss in her right ear. She later had a G-Tube placed at 5weeks old. Victoria returned to Children’s Hospital Colorado in May for open heart surgery. We are so thankful for the care everyone at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the cardiology team provided.
Since being home Victoria has really blossomed. She continues to learn something new every day. Our days are filled with ear to ear smiles, reading books, and chats about anything and everything. She’s learned how to use her voice and lets us know what she’s thinking. Her smiles are contagious and she brings so much joy to everyone around her.