A Whole-Hearted Gift


February 12, 2015
Topics: Donors, Heart (cardiology), Riley Kid Story



sylvie image
Sylvie Hoover with her sister, Emeline.

In humble gratitude of the kind hearts before us who supported the heart research that saved our daughter Sylvie’s life, our family decided to celebrate Valentine's Day by paying it forward to the children whose hearts can be fixed in the future. Maybe your heart is stirring you to do the same?

Click here to make a gift to My Heart Belongs to Riley.

At 5 months old, our daughter Sylvie had open-heart surgery at Riley Hospital to correct the congenital heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot. This past Wednesday, nearly three years post-op, her annual cardiac check-up with Riley cardiologist Dr. Timothy Cordes showed her repaired heart is growing as it should! We feel relieved, grateful, and awe-struck by what able hands have accomplished in her small heart.

How sobering to think that a generation ago, this heart repair had not been invented and perfected. Without surgery our Sylvie, at 3, would look blue, be generally out-of-breath, and typically sitting with her knees to her chest to push the blood back up to her lungs to be oxygenated again. Most kids weren't expected to live into adulthood. But instead, she gets to run around, take ballet, yell and scream, and play with her sister, Emeline. 

Our 10-day stay in the Riley PICU and Heart Center left an indelible mark on my heart. My heart is still filled with gratitude for Dr. Mark Turrentine, Dr. Cordes, the nursing staff, Riley researchers, and all the donors in the past whose financial gifts made a Tetralogy of Fallot repair possible for us today. 

My heart breaks for those in the PICU today, numbering the minutes; those of you who are waiting for heart surgery, counting the days.

You are in my thoughts. I pray for you. 

And I hope your days after recovery will be filled with ballet and soccer and music lessons--whatever fills your heart with joy!

Our Riley journey also motivates my heart, and so we made a gift in support of Riley cardiology research through My Heart Belongs to Riley. If you are able to join with us, I urge you to do the same.

Your financial gift--no matter how large or small--will further research that ensures little hearts will beat to music, dance with joy, and pound with the thrill of the game. 

Now, that’s a whole-hearted gift.


Monica Hoover

Monica Hoover and her husband Shawn are the parents of two daughters, Emeline and Sylvie. The family lives in Indianapolis.


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