This year will be my 3rd Courage Classic tour. I'm beyond excited! This year, I will be riding for Michael, a brave and adorabe 3 year old who has been through more in his short life then anyone I know. Here is his story, told by his loving mother Rebecca. Please consider donating today to help me reach my goal, and so that kiddos like Michael can continue to thrive.
My name is Rebecca Arellano, and my husband is Frank Arellano. We were super excited when we found out we were expecting in April 2015, and that our bundle of joy was due in December. In August we went in for our routine ultrasound. We were so excited to see how the baby was growing, and to find out if we were gonna have a boy or a girl. August 24, 2015 is the day we found out we were having a little boy and something was wrong with his heart. When I think back on that week I feel like it was just a whirlwind. The following day we were sent to do another ultrasound with Maternal Fetal were they confirmed his condition. Our little guy had a heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. In simple terms he was gonna be born with half a heart. In order for our little guy to survive he was going to have to have three open heart surgeries. The first one had to happen within the first few days after his birth.
Michael Esteban Arellano was born on December 12, 2015 at Children’s Hospital in Denver. His very first open heart surgery was at three days old. This operation is called the Norwood. His second was performed when he was 6 months old and it’s called the Glenn. His third is called the Fontan and he had this surgery this past September at the age of 2.
Children’s Hospital has been there from the beginning. The nurses, doctors, and surgeons have been amazing! The support and guidance they provide is outstanding. As parents it’s so terrifying and overwhelming. They were there to answer questions, help us feel comfortable with all the tubes and wires, always explaining what’s going on, and helped set everything up for when it was time to go home. They were always loving and caring, they truly became a part of the family.
Michael is doing good! He’s an active three year old. He loves Disney’s Cars. He can name all the characters and Lightning McQueen and Mater are his favorite. He also loves fire trucks and monster trucks. He loves music and dancing.
These surgeries don’t cure Michael’s heart and he may eventually need a heart transplant. He will need to be monitor by a cardiologist his whole life. We are hopeful with all the research that is being done, that they will continue to find ways to help single ventricles. We are so thankful for the miracle that God has given us and cherish the time we have together.