Mom of a Warrior
I am walking for my son, Elijah. Elijah is my happy and energetic 2 1/2 year old little boy. He is so full of love and happiness. Elijah has been on his medical journey with Children's Hospital since he was 2 days old.
Children's has been phenomenal with Elijah and this is my way to give back. Elijah has a long list of health issues, spent his first month of life in the Cardiac ICU and step down unit at CHP and now follows with multiple specialists and clinics monthly at Children's Hospital. I am forever grateful for all of the staff at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and everything that they do.
Elijah was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh when he was just two days old due to having breathing issues and low pulses. Once he arrived at Children's they immediately began doing a work and he was admitted to the Cardiac ICU for Coarctation of the Aorta and multiple heart defects. This was all a surprise to us, as we knew none of this while I was pregnant with Elijah. At one week old, Dr. Victor Morell performed Elijah's Open Heart surgery. Dr. Morell was amazing and came out personally to explain everything to us as soon as he finished Elijah's surgery. Elijah experienced a couple set backs and was not able to breathe on his own without the ventilator. They did many tests, x-rays, scans, more blood-work and after awhile found out that his right diaphragm was paralyzed so four days after his heart surgery he had Right Diaphragm Plication surgery done by Dr. Mileta Viegas. Elijah spent 18 days in the Cardiac ICU and then spent another 10 days in the step down unit before he was able to be discharged. Without these amazing surgeons, the cardiac anesthesiologists and all of their teams/staff we would not have Elijah here with us today.
Elijah continues to follow with Dr. Matthew Zinn in Cardiology at the Heart Institute at Children's. Elijah has the best cardiologists and he always listens to any of my concerns. Elijah also follows with Nephrology because he was born with a Dysplastic Kidney - Elijah only has his left kidney, his right kidney just never formed. We love Dr. Agnieszka Swiatecka-Urban, she is very thorough at all of Elijah's check-ups. He also follows with Dr. Glenn Cannon in Urology and Dr. Cannon performed an outpatient surgery on Elijah in February of 2016. In December of 2017 Elijah began following with the Cleft-Craniofacial Clinic due to having a sub-mucous cleft palate & speech delay and also began following with ENT due to multiple ear infections and fluid build up. At the end of December 2017, Elijah underwent another small surgical procedure to have tubes placed in both ears. Dr. Noel Jabbour performed this procedure, Dr. Jabbour is a very kind doctor and explains everything in great detail and with visual aides. Elijah recently began following with Audiology and we are still waiting on some hearing tests with them.
We recently learned that Elijah has a Genetic Syndrome that he was born with, 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. Elijah follows with Genetics for this syndrome and many of his health issues are connected to this. This syndrome means that Elijah was born with a piece of his 22nd Chromosome missing. Dr. Woerner and Dr. Jenkins with Genetics explained this syndrome in great detail and answered any questions that I had the best that they could. They also referred us to Immunology, which Elijah now follows with as well due to having reoccurring respiratory infections and Asthma. He is currently scheduled for evaluation appointments with Endocrinology, Ophthalmology and the Child Development Unit.
Anytime Elijah gets sick or isn't feeling well we always choose Children's Hospital ER and they have also been great with Elijah and any of the issues he is having at that time. We have been there more times than we would like, but there is not any other ER we would choose.
Elijah is truly a God sent blessing and has changed my life so much. Being on this journey with Elijah has taught me more than I ever imagined and has made me appreciate all of the small things. And I never realized how much people depend on Children's Hospital until we were the ones who depend on them. I hope that Elijah's story gives you even just a little bit of insight on how much Elijah and our family depend on Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. And that it truly is a blessing to have them in our backyard.
Every child deserves the chance to just be a kid. But for kids who are sick or injured, hospital visits and treatments can take time away from the activities that make being a kid so special. That’s why I’m fundraising for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC – so that I can Give Kids A Chance To Be Kids!
Your support can help Children’s Hospital continue to give kids the chance they deserve, regardless of their ability to pay.
Please help me reach my fundraising goal by making a donation to my page.
Thank you for your support as I Walk for Children’s!
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