Portland Congenital Heart Walk

Kali's Heart Walk Heroes

Thank you for visiting Kali's Heart Heroes fundraising page for the Congenital Heart Walk. Raising funds for Congenital Heart Disease research is critically important to all Heart Warriors and Heart Angels, and personally very meaningful to us.

Ten years ago, Kali had her heart "fixed". Two years and one month before that we met her guardian angel, an ultrasound technician named Karen Smith. Karen found Kali’s heart defect (cor triatriatum) in an ultrasound the day before she was born. 

Kali's heart defect is extremely rare and very hard to detect in an ultrasound, but she was meant to be. Cardiologists were brought in and Karen worked hard show them what she saw. 

At the time, Kali’s prognosis was unknown and we were told she may not survive her birth. But sweet baby Kali had other plans and came into this world a happy and healthy baby girl without so much as a murmur. Had Karen not detected her defect the day before, doctors would have never looked into Kali’s heart.  

Kali’s heart was carefully monitored weekly and then monthly until her second birthday, one month later her heart was "fixed” at Sacred Heart Medical Center. 

May 21, 2010 was the longest day of my life. Following her surgery, when Kali’s surgeon, Dr Worrall, entered our small waiting room to tell us that Kali was okay, and that we could head straight to the NICU to meet her there, I felt complete elation. On the highest high of our lives, we raced to the NICU to see our baby girl. As much as the hospital had tried to prepare us to see our baby post-op, nothing could have prepared us for what we were running to. 

The following hours were terrifying. We sat helpless and in a daze as doctors and nurses swirled around us, never sure of what an alarm or moan meant. However, Kali recovered quickly. Within a day of her surgery she was moved from the NICU and into a large room where she could be with all of her loving visitors and a new group of amazing nurses. 

Kali was released from the hospital in just three days and literally ran down the hallways of the hospital and asked to pull her wagon when she got home. 

Before we went to the hospital, ten years ago, we explained to Kali that she was going to have her heart “fixed.” But we also explained to her that the part of her heart that is capable of love was remarkable and always worked perfectly. Kali was meant to be here. The world is a better place with her in it. She is kind, loving, empathetic, so bright, thoughtful, hilarious, talented, ambitious, brave, and so much more.

Kali's heart is now "fixed". She continues to have three year checkups at Doernbecher Children's Hospital where an amazing staff takes wonderful care of us and fills our hearts with gratitude for what we were given.

Please consider helping us to fund Congenital Heart Disease Research to aid in creating more amazing ultrasound technicians, cardiologists, life saving machines, surgeons, doctors, nurses, and so much more  by making a donation to Kali's Fundraising Page. Together we can make a life-saving difference and create opportunities for hundreds more success stories, like Kali's.

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