Last week Joe and I had the opportunity to attend a charity gala fundraiser for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. This was our first time attending and it was an overwhelming experience being there as a family who needs the frequent care of that facility.
In the past I would give to a random charity here and there but I never consistently gave or raised funds. Boy did that change when we had Otto.
Joe and I vowed that when we were able to go home after Otto’s surgery we would do every thing we could to help raise money and awareness to assist the people who saved our son. I walked around that event wanting these people to know just how much their donations are appreciated.
I have a tremendous amount of guilt that it took me having a sick child to donate to the hospital fundraiser. If you have a charity or cause that you are passionate about I encourage you to make a donation of any kind. Every little bit helps. In honor of February being heart month, I want to share some fantastic things our hospital is doing in the cardiac unit.
- When we had our surgical consultation, our surgeon drew the diagram of otto’s heart and as he talked he made marks and dashes and did the best he could to explain to us parents what exactly is going to happen. Now they are able to print 3D models of patients hearts. This way patients get a better understanding of what is going on and the surgeons have an opportunity to see more of what they will be working on during surgery.
- The hospital is also renovating the Renucci House which is where families can stay while their loved ones are in the hospital. We were able to sleep and shower in a hotel like room attached to the hospital so that we could be to Otto’s bedside at a moments notice.
- Finally, They are converting several cardiac rooms in the children’s hospital to have the ability to instantly transform into an operating room within seconds. This will allow for high risk patients to get the immediate emergency surgical intervention that they need without having to spend precious seconds getting to the surgical floor.
Our last appointment didn’t go so hot in terms of otto being cooperative for his echos and scans so in march we are consolidating all of his appointments in one day and he will be put under a light anesthesia. I would be lying if I said that it didn’t make me a little nervous but I don’t believe there is any other way at this age to see the things that we need to see to make sure that Otto is healthy and that his heart is performing as it should for now.
I am grateful for a care team that takes what Joe and I have to say to heart. It’s one of the many reasons we are dedicated to Helen DeVos Children’s hospital. While the things we go there for are not always as fun as the auto show gala we know that they have otto’s best interest at heart and will do everything they can to keep him safe and comfortable.