A Riley Dad and Doctor's Heartfelt Thanks

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Averi Delgado

My heart belongs to Riley for two reasons.

As a Riley Hospital physician, I appreciate what a privilege it is to help families who have sick children.

As a Riley dad, I know how much it means to have excellent, compassionate care when your own child is fighting for their life.

This month, the My Heart Belongs to Riley campaign is raising awareness and funds for the incredible hospital that saved my daughter Averi’s life. Averi was born with a congenital heart defect and Down syndrome. Averi became critically ill when she was 4 months old and spent five weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where she received top-notch care. Riley Heart Surgeon Mark Turrentine, M.D., repaired the hole in her heart (a complete atrioventricular canal defect). The regular visits from our entire cardiology team were so reassuring. Even though my wife Vicki and I worried about our daughter, who was critically ill and on a ventilator, they helped us believe that her problems were “fixable,” and that she would get well.

I’m so happy to share that Averi is doing great as she gets ready to celebrate her sixth birthday this month. My heart is full when I watch her singing to Elmo songs, participating in horse therapy, and cracking up with her three siblings. Because of the care she received at Riley, she’s a feisty, outgoing and lovable little girl. 

It’s inspiring to know how many good hearts in the community are standing in solidarity with Riley’s amazing kids—including my daughter.

David Delgado, M.D.

David Delgado, M.D., is the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant unit at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.

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