"Astounding" Care and Comfort: Brody's Riley Story

May 23, 2016
Topics: Heart (cardiology), Riley Kid Story

brody e blog image
Brody Engelhardt, Elberfeld, Ind.

The decision to have another baby was a tough one. My husband Matt and his niece were born with congenital heart disease and felt we were extremely blessed to have a healthy 3-year-old daughter named Averye. We were a little hesitant to take a risk to have another one for the fear he or she would be born with heart disease as well. The love of a child overcame those fears and eventually we were equally blessed with a baby boy, but not so equally fortunate, I guess you could say. 

I can still hear the ultrasound tech calling in other colleagues to help find Brody’s heart measurements and the look on their face when I told them about congenital heart disease in our family. I will never forget how I felt when I was eventually told Brody’s diagnosis, Tetralogy of Fallot. The feelings are almost too deep to put into words, but it is like a terrible storm that destroys your entire path. 

We never contemplated what hospital we would go to; Riley Hospital for Children was our top pick. We already had two generations fight through heart disease at Riley with exceptional outcomes and didn’t plan to chance our child in the hands of anywhere but there.

The care and comfort we experienced at Riley Hospital from infancy on have been astounding. The entire staff at Riley is above all others. We were and continue to be amazed of how knowledgeable the PICU nurses were with Brody’s condition and the plan they had for each day and each situation we found ourselves in. 

Dr. Mark Turrentine, Brody’s cardiothoracic surgeon, was extremely thorough with the course of action he would take for each surgery and the follow up care afterward. He checked on Brody daily and continued to answer any and all of our concerns without an ounce of hesitation. He consistently made himself available and approachable. 

I particularly remember Dr. Turrentine meeting with us after Brody’s first surgery in 2011. He was explaining what he did, the materials he used and what he thought the cardiac future would hold for Brody. The emotions were so deep we immediately leaned in for a hug, although there are no words or actions we could ever express to show our appreciation for him. We will be forever grateful for Dr. Turrentine and the exceptional care Brody received at Riley Hospital. 

Zana Engelhardt

Zana Engelhardt and her husband Matt are the parents of Riley patient Brody Engelhardt. Brody was born in June 2011 diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. He has had numerous surgeries and procedures at Riley, including one closed and two open heart surgeries. The family lives in Elberfeld, Ind.

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