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New Year, New Hope


December 21, 2016
Topics: Heart (cardiology), Riley Kid Story



samantha blog image
Sawyer Kelly, Indianapolis

There’s nothing quite like the promise of a new year. As we turn the page of the passing year, we begin a new chapter – one of hope and endless possibility.  

My daughter Sawyer spent her first year of life in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Riley Hospital for Children – her first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And though it wasn’t what we had envisioned, we rang in her first new year in CVICU room 3202. It was never lost on us how fortunate we were to begin a new year with our child – our child who had overcome every obstacle placed in her path. Our child who had fought through two open heart surgeries, two runs of ECMO life support, and countless procedures to make it to this moment. 

The new year.  

We watched on the television as the crowd counted down.  

10, 9, 8… We imagined, with optimistic anticipation, what the coming year might bring for our daughter. 

7, 6, 5… We reflected on all we had learned through Sawyer’s illness and how we had grown. 

4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year!  

We peeked out to the nurses’ station as they silently celebrated and we knew there was goodness to come. Sawyer had gone to sleep hours before, so we stole a quick kiss and called it a night. When we woke, there would be work to do, progress to make, and milestones to celebrate!  

When you have a sick kid, you search for hope in even the tiniest moments. At Riley Hospital for Children, you don’t have to search far. Hope is all around – in the faces of children fighting big battles, in the passion of the people who provide them care, and in the generosity of kind souls who support research and development to give these kids a fighting chance. 

When you donate to Riley Children’s Foundation – you become a beacon of hope for families in desperate need. Will you help bring hope to Riley families this New Year?   


Samantha Kelly

Samantha Kelly and her husband Patrick are the parents of Riley heart patient Sawyer Kelly. Sawyer was born in July 2014 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and received a transplant at Riley Hospital when she was 9 months old. The Kelly family lives in Indianapolis.


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