"I Believe in White Clothes": Jace's Riley Story

August 25, 2014
Topics: Heart (cardiology), Riley Kid Story

Jace Mike
Lawrence Central High School golfer and Riley cardiology patient, Jace Mike, Indianapolis.

If you walk down the halls of any school in Indiana, chances are good you’ll pass a “Riley Kid.” The wide-ranging health battles they have fought and the medical professionals who have helped them fight often shape these kids’ lives in powerful ways.

One of those Riley Kids you’ll find walking down the hall of Lawrence Central High School is Jace Mike. The 17-year-old plays on the school golf team and loves to draw. He has plans of pursuing a career in architecture, and also dreams about designing his own line of shoes.

Jace is one of countless kids who wouldn’t be here today without Riley.

Jace was born with a heart defect known as IAA – Interrupted Aortic Arch, as well as transposition of the great vessels. Riley heart surgeon Dr. John Brown performed Jace’s first open-heart surgery when he was a newborn. Jace has had several other heart surgeries, including some done through less-invasive heart catheterization procedures. He continues to be followed by Riley cardiologist Roger Hurwitz, M.D., and will likely need future procedures to replace his aortic valve.

Jace shared some of his story in an essay he wrote at school. The assignment was to write about something he believed in. For Jace, that was easy: he believed in his Riley doctors.

He remembered being a little boy and noticing the white clothes his doctors wore. Now, as a teenager, he sees those physicians’ white coats in a new light. “I believe in ‘White Clothes’ because of their dedication to research and studies they do to advance medicine,” Jace wrote in his essay. “Because of new medical technology and God, my life is as normal as any other person.”

Jace’s essay went on to encourage others to develop trusting relationships with their physicians, get regular check-ups and follow their doctor’s advice. “They are here on Earth to help and save lives,” said Jace. “I’m truly blessed to have ‘White Clothes’ in my life.”

Those of you who support Riley Hospital play a critical role in making sure those ‘White Clothes’ can carry out their important work. Because of your gifts to Riley:

- Kids like Jace get the chance to grow up; to learn; to dream

- Medical professionals have the resources they need to give kids and their families the very best care

- Riley physician-scientists can keep searching for better treatments and cures

Thank you, Jace, for letting your Riley doctors know how much they mean to you. And thank you, Riley supporters, for showing how much Riley Kids mean to you.

Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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