Part of the Team: Why My Heart Belongs to Riley

February 6, 2018
Topics: Heart (cardiology), Riley Kid Story

sandy e blog image
Ben, Sandy and Audrey Egerton

My daughter Audrey was born on July 6, 2017 at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital. My husband Ben and I already knew about her heart defect (AV Canal Defect) and were still hopeful that we would be able to take her home to Elkhart, Ind., shortly after birth and live a normal life until she was big enough for her repair. We quickly found out that Audrey is much more complex than just a heart defect.  She was transferred to Riley Hospital where we learned that she has CHARGE Syndrome. Symptoms of CHARGE Syndrome vary from child to child but often include life-threatening birth defects and swallowing and breathing problems. At 3 months old she had a tracheostomy put in and eventually required a ventilator as well. We have hope that as Audrey gets bigger she will outgrow her need for that support.

A majority of Audrey’s life has been spent at Riley. It is a place where everyone cares! My fears and concerns are never dismissed, and I am always treated as a part of the team. My heart belongs to Riley because my daughter’s heart is always the primary focus. No matter the issue at hand, the staff at Riley do everything in their power to protect her heart and keep it as strong as possible so that she will be ready for her repair when that time comes. Every gift donated to Riley brings comfort and happiness to Riley families in the form of knowing that Riley has the resources to care for and heal their child. 

Sandy Egerton

Sandy Egerton has been married to her husband Ben for two years. She is a kindergarten teacher and Ben is a mechanical engineer. Audrey is their first child, but they have a 6-year-old dog named Paisley who is also much like their child. Sandy and Ben enjoy spending time with friends, family and each other. Their new favorite activity is relaxing on the couch in the evenings as a family of four with Audrey and Paisley.

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