Your Impact on Peyton's "Second Home"
Our Riley story began when our daughter, Peyton, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome during a prenatal anatomy scan. We learned that Peyton would need a series of three lifesaving open heart surgeries. After this diagnosis, we transferred care to Riley Children’s because of their consistently high national ranking in pediatric specialties, including cardiology. We chose one of the top pediatric heart surgeons, Dr. Mark Turrentine, to save Peyton’s life.
Peyton had her first open heart surgery at 5 days old. She recovered well and went home taking all her bottles. Because of the complexity of open heart procedures, these patients are enrolled in a program to monitor them from home. We had direct access to a nurse practitioner, a weight scale, and a vitals machine. The nurse practitioner, Dana Hartman, helps to monitor these kids until they reach their second open heart surgery.
Peyton stopped eating and under the direction of Dana, she was admitted to Riley for testing and observation. We found out the shunt that was vital to Peyton’s circulation was failing and she needed another open heart surgery to fix it. Peyton also received a G tube for feeding.
At 8 months old, Peyton underwent her third open heart surgery. After this surgery, Peyton became less fragile and was discharged from the home monitoring program. She eventually weaned from her G tube and progressed developmentally.
Finally, this past May, Peyton underwent her fourth and final open heart surgery. She is now doing great! She has been discharged from therapies and lives a life the same as her peers, other than cardiology appointments every 6 months. Thanks to Riley and the incredible medical staff, we now have a spunky, silly, sweet, and smart three-year-old girl. She enjoys music, animals, babies, unicorns, and being outside.
Riley Children’s Health has been our second home for the last few years. Peyton has spent over 70 days inpatient there, as well as emergency visits and more appointments than we can count. I can tell you from being a parent of a Riley kid, your donations are so incredibly important. We have seen the work of donations through:
- A fully equipped playroom in the Heart Center where Peyton could be a kid as she healed from surgeries
- Child Life Specialists who played with Peyton and helped decrease her fears of hospital staff
- The home monitoring program ensured her safety in her most fragile periods
- Supporting research so that the care of these kids only improves
Thank you so much for your donations and your compassion for these kids.
Katelyn Langebartels works as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse. She lives in Zionsville, IN with her husband Clay and children Peyton and Wyatt. Their favorite family activity is going camping in the summer. They also love to be outdoors, fish, and spend time with family and friends.