Children: Olivia and Owen
What is your Children’s Hospital story?
Like most parents, we had the occasional emergency room visit to Children's Hospital with Olivia, our oldest child. It wasn't until Owen was six months old that those occasional visits became routine. At Owen's six-month well-baby check on 12-28-2010, the nurse practitioner felt uneasy with the heart murmur she heard. She sent us to Children's Hospital for a chest X-ray that evening. The following day, Owen's pediatrician called to let us know the X-ray showed his heart was enlarged on one side; he told us to meet with a cardiologist the following morning.
My husband and I took Owen to see Dr. Sumeet Sharma at Knoxville Pediatric Cardiology, where Owen had a cardiac echo. It was discovered that he had a coarctation of the aorta and pulmonary stenosis. The coarctation needed to be repaired immediately, as he was in heart failure. We were immediately sent to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for Owen to be admitted and then picked up by ambulance to be transported to the airport. We were flown to a neighboring children's hospital for heart surgery the following morning. Owen is currently stable and is being monitored closely by three specialists.
At the wise age of two and a half, Olivia tells everyone Owen has a "happy heart." From the mouths of babes ... she is so right.
Why are you involved with the Family Advisory Council?
I'm excited about the opportunity to serve on the Family Advisory Council. I feel I can be a support to other families I come in contact with, both professionally and personally. We are lucky to have Children's Hospital in our area. I would like to give back and contribute through the FAC to make this hospital a better place for not only my children but all the children the hospital serves