Rosie Tarlton began her Riley journey within hours of her birth, when she was rushed by ambulance from a hospital in Anderson, Ind., to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
Rosie was born with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a congenital disorder where a part of the heart fails to close after birth. “The nurses were great,” said Rosie’s mother, Becky Tarlton. She and her husband Ron were in shock as they tried to understand their newborn daughter’s condition. “After the doctors would leave the room, we would think of a million questions we wanted to ask. Nurses told us to keep notebooks to document our questions.”
Rosie stayed in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Riley for a month as doctors worked to regulate her heartbeat and oxygen levels. During her stay, hearing tests revealed that Rosie was severely hearing impaired. “Rosie began audiology therapy, and social workers at Riley helped us locate services in Anderson for her to use,” Becky said. “Rosie was fitted for her first hearing aids at 18 months. She did pretty well with them—we always called her hearing aides her ‘pretty ears.’”
The entire Tarlton family believes in giving back and Rosie is no exception. She mentors other students at her high school who are hearing impaired, and educates teachers and staff about techniques to accommodate those with hearing impairments. “I want to become an audiologist so I can help others who’ve experienced the same things as me,” Rosie said.
The Tarltons are also fortunate to work for a company that values giving back to the community. Both Ron and Becky are employed by Pay Less Super Market, a subsidy of the Kroger Company. Ron is a store manager in Anderson and Becky is a florist. They’re grateful to Kroger Co. for being a longtime Riley supporter and the sponsor of the Riley Champions program.
“It’s great that Kroger is able to do so much to help others,” says Becky. “It’s amazing to see people in the stores step up and help fundraise. Kroger brings kids to the forefront and promotes the need for Riley within every community across the state.”