Again this year, I am participating in a fundraising bike ride to benefit the non-profit hospital I work for, Children's Hospital Colorado. It's a great way to mix some of my favorite things: helping kids and their families, hanging out in the mountains, and riding bicycles! I am riding with the Cardiac Climbers team. All the money we raise goes directly back to the Children's Colorado Heart Institute and is used for equipment such as ECHO and EKG machines, research, and more.
I have been incredibly blessed to ride for some amazing kids in the past: Liam, Chase, and Dominik. It is children like them, and their incredible families, that keep me coming back to work. They never fail to inspire, challenge, and encourage me to do more and be better. They represent a small subset of the many kids who are served by Children's Hospital Colorado every day. They represent things we know about congenital heart disease, and things we must continue to learn.
This year, I have the honor and privilege of riding for Oliver. Here's a message from his parents, Morgan and Nicholas:
Oliver Gray Hybert was born at home on February 22, 2021. Ollie weighed in at 8lbs 8oz and by all appearances was a happy and healthy baby. During a routine check with our midwife on February 25th (his sister's birthday), Ollie's oxygen saturations were low and it was recommended that we take him to the ER. After being transferred from the ER to Colorado Springs Children's Hospital, Ollie's nurse indicated that she heard a heart murmur on his intake evaluation, and recommended an echocardiogram in the morning. We had no idea how that echo would change our lives. As we watched the echo performed, we knew something wasn't quite right (mom's heart rate alarm went off on her Apple Watch, which has never happened before), and we were shortly informed that Oliver had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), and we were quickly moved from the floor to the NICU. A few short days later, Ollie was transferred to Children's in Aurora and had his Norwood procedure on March 3rd. During his hospitalization, Ollie initially struggled with extubation, but once in the CPCU was interested in eating and seemed to progress well. His g-tube placement surgery turned out not to be quite as routine as expected after his breathing tube clogged two different times. A few short days after his g-tube placement, Ollie had a catheterization to measure pressures in his heart and lungs, and place a stent in his Sano shunt which was showing some narrowing. On April 28th, we brought Ollie home. His older brother Liam (4) and older sister Aria (2) were delighted to be reunited with their brother. We got to love on Ollie and fall into a routine at home for a month before he started showing low oxygenation saturations again on May 29th (his grandfather's birthday - we joked that Ollie apparently doesn't like other people's birthdays!). Once again we ended up at Children's in Aurora where Ollie had his Glenn procedure after another catheterization. This time Ollie was in the hospital for only 17 days before getting to go home on June 14th. Today, Ollie is a very smiley little boy who is absolutely adored by his family (and sometimes smothered with love by his older siblings who cannot get enough of him). Ollie has changed our lives in many ways, and is certainly an inspiration to our family.
Please join me in celebrating Ollie by giving to CHCO!