So excited to be part of this amazing fundraising to help all the heart warriors and their families that come to our heart institute at Colorado Children's Hospital. What's so amazing about being a part of this team is that we make it personal and I'm honored to be riding for "Sammie". This is her story told by her mom Sophia...
"Samantha Wisdom Velarde was born on November 20, 2016. Six months into the pregnancy we found out that Samantha had a heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We were devastated when we were told that babies with this heart condition will not live once they were born. However, though her life wasn't promised, she did have the opportunity to go through a series of 3 heart surgeries that would hopefully correct her condition.
Soon after Samantha was born, she underwent her first open heart surgery. During the surgery one of her vocal cords was nipped, and as a result she had no voice. We were told that she would never be able to talk, sing, or yell. As a result of this error, she received a G-tube to allow her to eat. Through much prayer, God gave Samantha her voice and her ability to eat though her mouth back.
Six months after the first surgery Samantha had her second surgery; after that she was seen regularly and was in and out of the hospital for various reasons. At the age of 2, doctors discovered she had a leaky heart valve, so an unexpected third surgery was needed to fix it. When Samantha turned 3 years old, she was supposed to have her last surgery but the doctors discovered that the surgery to fix the leaky valve was not successful and it began leaking again. Her heart became enlarged due to the leaky valve and she was not able to go through the final surgery that she needed. As the leak worsened the doctors gave us three options: let her pass on her own, go to Boston and have them find a solution, or put her on the heart transplant list. Through much prayer and deliberation, we decided to put her on the heart transplant list. Samantha was admitted to Children’s Hospital right after Christmas, where she is currently hospitalized while she waits for a new heart. Due to the effect the leaky valve had on her liver and her kidneys she underwent surgery to get a temporary replacement valve and a pacemaker to sustain her until she gets a new heart.
Samantha is the true definition of a fighter. Although she has been through so much, she continues to amaze us with how happy she is in spite of her trials. Samantha continues to teach us so much as parents. She is our miracle from God and one day she will be able to testify about all the wonderful things the Lord has done."
All the money raised goes back to the Heart Institute for research, education and to help our families who frequently need to leave their own homes and make Children's Hospital their home away from home while their kids are being treated. Please please donate, no donation is too small!