Riley – Hero of the Month

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“Even facing heart failure, he finds ways to thrive”

Riley has had countless surgeries and has spent endless hours at the hospital over his lifetime. Early on, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF), a chronic condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Symptoms of CHF can include chest pain, fainting or severe weakness, sudden shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and coughing up pink foam.

Recently, Riley was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for over a week due to issues with his complex heart disease. With his loving parents by his side, Riley endured his hospital stay with the help of a specific gadget. Riley borrowed a Nook tablet from Child Life Services at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and the fun e-reader turned out to be a very therapeutic tool in aiding Riley during this difficult time. In addition to reading, Riley took solace in sessions with the hospital’s music therapists that visited him daily. They were able to continue to meet Riley’s developmental needs during his hospital stay.

Riley’s musical talent and recovery progress made an impact on the nursing staff and “it was stated by many that Riley should become involved in some sort of music program outside of school, as he can hold a solid beat,” according to his Child Life specialist. With a vivacious attitude and a winning smile, Riley found ways to channel his emotions about his illness and thrive. The e-reader and music lessons proved to be the perfect outlets for Riley to help him cope with the day to day struggles he faces.

It is with great pleasure that Kids Wish Network honors Riley’s positivity and ingenuity by joining Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in recognizing him as Hero of the Month. Way to go, Riley!

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Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.