Defying the Odds: My Riley Story




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My name is Mikaela Haller. I am 22-years-old and a recent college graduate! Thanks to Jesus, the doctors and nurses at Riley Hospital for Children, and my incredible family, I was given a second chance at life five years ago. 

I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 3rd grade and experienced multiple seizures during sporting events, many in the water due to my swimming career. On January 30, 2014 I had a seizure which lead to cardiac arrest. I flat-lined twice in the ambulance on the way to my hometown hospital and seized for three hours. The doctors were not able to stop my seizures and I was life-lined to Riley Hospital. 

When I arrived at Riley, the doctors were not sure if I had any brain activity or if my organs were functioning. To give me a chance at life, they used a cooling machine on my body to restart my organs and put me in an induced coma for 72 hours. With a 5 percent chance of survival, this was my only shot. 

Thanks to the big guy upstairs and the incredible care at Riley Hospital, there was movement in my fingers as my coma was reversed. I had to relearn how to walk, write, brush my hair and teeth, etc. I was also diagnosed with CPVT (Cardiopulmonary Ventricular Tachycardia). I am so thankful for my experience at Riley though and not a day goes by where I am not thankful for the chance to share my story. 

A special thank you to Susan Gude, Dr. Lutfi, and Dr. Kean. You are each so special to me and have cared for me immensely on this life-changing journey. I am stronger because of you. One final big thank you to all my family and friends who have donated to this incredible hospital. Every single one of you has made an immense impact on my life. 

Thank you Riley Hospital for Children. You are so special to many families, especially mine.

Learn more at BeTheHopeNow.org


Mikaela Haller

Mikaela Haller was born and raised a Hoosier. She is the youngest of three siblings and daughter to the best parents in the world. Mikaela is Riley Hospital for Children's biggest fan and a big supporter of all things Riley Dance Marathons. The majority of her time is spent with her friends, never missing an opportunity to learn more about Jesus, traveling, watching Hallmark movies, and taking naps. She’s a recent college grad just trying to navigate what comes next!


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