I ride to celebrate and say thank you to Children's Hospital Colorado patients like Ethan.
Ethan is an 18 year old who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome- his heart only had one strong pumping chamber (or ventricle) instead of two. He underwent staged palliation with 3 open heart surgeries by the time he was 2 years old. He underwent an additional 2 surgical repairs and a cath procedure for stenting by the time he was 4 years old. Over the following years he developed progressive heart failure, and in his teenage years he had to stop playing tennis, biking, and fishing. By the age of 17, he required a continuous milrinone infusion to support his heart and so he was listed for a heart transplant. Thankfully, a donor heart was found within several months and he underwent heart transplant before he turned 18. This summer, a little over a year out from transplant, Ethan graduated high school with his peers. He'll be starting a full time job in a few short months. He's back to playing tennis, biking, and fishing.
As a pediatric cardiology fellow, I'm honored to have been part of Ethan's care team at the time of his transplant, and I can attest to the challenges he and his family have courageously endured. For me personally, the pedals pushed to climb mountains over the Courage Classic route are just a small reminder of the immense challenges patients like Ethan and his family have overcome. Participating in the ride is also an opportunity for me, as a provider, to say thank you. Thank you to patients like Ethan for being courageous and for allowing myself and the team of providers at CHCO Heart Institute to take care of you!