Overcoming the Odds

Riley has battled a variety of ailments including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a brain malformation. Today, she is a happy child. While her health may always be fragile, her family is grateful that her diagnosis remains stable.

At 14 weeks of age, most babies are just learning to raise up on their arms and imitate sounds they hear. For Riley, week 14 marked a visit to Texas Children’s Hospital that would change—and ultimately save—her life.

Riley developed breathing problems shortly after she was born nine weeks early in December 2008. Her parents suspected pneumonia and brought her to the emergency center at Texas Children’s Hospital.

A heart examination showed that Riley was experiencing cardiac failure, and she was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. After weeks of treatment, Riley was discharged and allowed to return home to her parents and her twin sister.

Riley has since battled a variety of ailments including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a brain malformation. She sees a total of 11 specialists at Texas Children’s Hospital. Her mom, Emily, credits Texas Children’s with Riley’s progress and her new ability to walk.

Today, Riley is a happy child. While her health may always be fragile, her family is grateful that she did not need a heart transplant and that her diagnosis remains stable.

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