Give Today! $473,936 Tree of Hope Current Total Help us reach our goal for Cardinal Glennon kids! Give the Gift of Hope this Christmas Anticipation is one of the hallmarks of childhood. Waiting for Christmas. Wishing for that special gift from Santa. Counting down the days until that special moment. When a child is sick or injured, their families may not count down days, or even hours. Time is often measured in heartbeats, especially for Luke. He was born with congenital heart disease, a life-threatening condition that affects 1 in 100 births across the country. Luke spent his first month of life in the intensive care unit at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, undergoing his first open-heart surgery when he was just 9 days old. His parents watched those heartbeats on his bedside monitor, anxiously hoping for his recovery. When he later returned for a second open-heart surgery, Luke’s doctors and nurses again successfully maintained his tiny heartbeat. The skilled surgeons at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, along with nurses and other professionals, saved Luke’s life and save the lives of children every day. SSM Health Cardinal Glennon relies on the support of friends like you who enable us to continue our lifesaving Mission of providing exceptional health care to all children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Meet some Cardinal Glennon kids you can support today! Chance Wunderle Chance Wunderle came to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital with a painful bump on his leg that inhibited his active lifestyle. At the Costas Center his lump was diagnosed as rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of connective tissues that normally develop into muscle. It mostly occurs in children and accounts for three percent of childhood cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. About 350 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.The Costas Center and the 4 North in-patient Oncology wing would become Chance’s second and third homes that year. Since the lump on his leg was removed in the operating room he was able to alternate short and long visits to the hospital for chemotherapy – a one-night admission or a daytime Costas Center visit, followed the next week by several days on 4 North.Chance maintained an astounding energy level despite chemotherapy, his doctor and nurses have found. Their descriptions of him often include some form of the verb “bounce.”“Kids generally do better than adults and younger kids do better than the older kids,” says Christopher Hugge, MD, an assistant professor in hematology-oncolog at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Chance’s oncologist throughout treatment. “Chance seems unnaturally resistant to the side effects of chemotherapy. Even when he has an infection or is profoundly anemic, he often is bouncing around the Costas Center or 4 North. He is hard to knock down.”Your gift to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital through Tree of Hope helps kids just like Chance receive lifesaving treatment every day in The Costas Center and all areas of the hospital. Give today! Jamierson Montgomery In February 2017, Jamie Montgomery found out she was expecting her first child through a local Thrive Women’s Clinic. Because of her advanced maternal age, she was encouraged to have genetic testing blood work. The results came back showing a 98% positive chance of trisomy syndrome, either trisomy 13, trisomy 18 or trisomy 21. She was immediately informed that two of those syndromes have very grim life expectancies.Soon after that news, Jamie had her first ultrasound. While she already had information about the likelihood of his chromosomal defect, the ultrasound revealed that Baby Jamierson also had a complex heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot. Despite encouragement from multiple sources to terminate pregnancy, Jamie persisted in faith, and fought to empower herself with as much information as possible. Though alone and afraid, she was determined to shower this child with a love and investment that she had not experienced as a child. Jamie had supported herself working and living with friends since she was 13 years old, and her baby was an opportunity to experience the love and the family unit she craved for, but never had.She was referred to the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute (FCI) at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Jamie recalls that visit being the “first good appointment” she had had since becoming pregnant. Staff at FCI reviewed her ultrasound in great detail with her, thoroughly explained Jamierson's heart defect, and introduced Jamie to key SSM Health Cardinal Glennon caregivers, who would play a significant role in Jamierson’s journey. At that visit, Jamie met her son’s heart surgeon, cardiologist, and palliative care coordinator, who would all walk with her and follow Jamierson’s progress throughout the remainder of her pregnancy and first months of life.Jamierson was born at 37 weeks after 48 hours of labor. He weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces and was breathing on his own. His cord blood was tested and it was confirmed within 24 hours that he had trisomy 21 and Down syndrome.During that first week, Jamie learned that her son had multiple issues in addition to his complex heart condition, including bilateral club feet, laryngomalacia, hypotonia and obstructive sleep apnea...just to name a few.This last year has been a roller-coaster of challenges and successes for young Jamierson. He has survived open heart surgery to correct his Tetralogy of Fallot. He has survived bilateral tenotomies along with club foot repair. He’s had sleep studies, admissions for feeding issues and frequent visits to the Dallas Heart Center. He has physical and occupational therapy weekly through SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s Therapy Services and the First Steps Program, and regular visits from First Steps social service and nutritionists. There will be corrective interventions ahead for his obstructive sleep apnea and his eyes, ongoing therapies and more, as he grows and develops.Your gift to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital through Tree of Hope allows us to never turn a child away, regardless of their family's ability to pay. Give Today! Fallon Schlautman January 31 has forever left an imprint on our lives. This day is significant on two different occasions. The first was the year of 2014, when most parents are excited at finding out what they are having at their 20-week ultrasound, we were given the news that our little girl had developed fetal hydrops and needed an immediate referral to the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. This is where our journey begins.For the next 16 weeks Fallon received care and had to have in-utero blood transfusions until she was born on May 21, 2014. We had no diagnosis or knew what was wrong with our sweet baby girl. She spent 16 days at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for pneumothorax, where I never left her side. From there we were referred over to Dr. Bhatla in SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s hematology/oncology department. Fallon continued to need frequent blood transfusions and would develop sepsis-like symptoms which would lead us to frequent hospitalizations. Glennon became our second home.After months of waiting and a bone marrow aspiration, we finally had our diagnosis on January 31, 2015. SIFD (Sideroblastic anemia, immunodeficiency, fevers, developmental delay) a terminal mitochondrial disease. There were only six people throughout the world that were known to have this rare genetic disorder. We were left in shock, heartbroken and scared out of our minds.Within the next few months, Fallon progressed and developed hearing loss, vision loss and febrile seizures. At this point we had to do something. We attempted a bone marrow transplant in July of 2015. Two days in of receiving chemotherapy, Fallon suffered a catastrophic seizure that lasted two days, even while intubated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). At this point, I didn’t know if I would ever get to hold my baby again. We put our trust in God and in the hands of the doctors and nurses. Fallon made a miraculous recovery and I was able to hold her again. She suffered a traumatic brain injury from the seizure and is closely followed by the cerebral palsy clinic.Since then, Fallon has had numerous surgeries, a colostomy, hospitalization and what we call frequent flights to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. Fallon is followed by oncology/hematology, immunology, neurology, complex care, GI, audiology, ophthalmology, cerebral palsy clinic and surgery. I cannot speak more highly of all the doctors, nurses and staff. They have become family to us. Everything that we went through emotionally, and are still going through, they have been right there right along with us. SSM Health Cardinal Glennon truly is our second home and I think God put us here for a reason. What that reason may be is still unknown, but maybe it's possibly the miracle we’ve been waiting for. We are forever grateful for each and every one of you and cannot thank you enough.- Katie Heimbecker, Fallon's momYour gift to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital through Tree of Hope helps us take care of complex cases and improve outcomes for all our patients. Give Today! Henry Walker Henry’s mother Leticia was at a routine 20-week ultrasound when her obstetrician informed her that she had abnormally low amount of amniotic fluid, and that her growing baby’s kidneys AND bladder were significantly inflamed. She was quickly referred from her hometown doctor’s office in Carbondale, IL to the St. Louis Fetal Care Institute (FCI) at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.“Best case scenario was that my baby had a lower urinary tract obstruction which would clear itself when he urinated right after birth. Worst case scenario was that my baby would need dialysis and a kidney transplant,” Leticia recalls. The roadmap of pregnancy and “life” was significantly altered with this unknown, and Leticia and Henry (as she named him) started preparing as best they could.At 35 weeks, Leticia’s water broke and she traveled to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis to deliver Henry. Two days later, as he was monitored in the NICU at SSM Health St. Mary’s, Henry’s blood creatinine and electrolytes were at panic levels. It was now necessary to transfer Henry to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon where he could have the evaluation and management from the pediatric neonatology and nephrology experts.Within the first two weeks of Henry’s life, the seriousness of his condition unfolded. Neonatologist Dr. Farouk Sadiq and Nephrologist Dr. Craig Belsha were two of Henry’s significant caregivers handling the task of figuring out Henry’s next steps and explaining it all to Leticia. “Henry’s right kidney did not work at all, and his left kidney had little to no function either. They diagnosed him with end stage renal disease, and told me he needed to start dialysis with an eventual kidney transplant,” said Leticia.Leticia left her full time job and home back in Carbondale and brought her daughter to St. Louis, enrolling her in a local preschool and depleting her savings to make “life” work. Henry was finally discharged after 9 months in the hospital and they have been living at the Ronald McDonald house since then. On top of Henry’s multiple treatments every week at the hospital, he also has appointments with multiple other subspecialty services like Endocrinology, Immunology, Urology, General Surgery, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and the Complex Medical Care Team.Leticia commented, “No one tells you how you will get back to a ‘normal’ life after you go through all of this. But for now I am just so grateful he’s a happy boy, and for the support we’ve received that is made possible from the generosity of so many others.”Your gift to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital through Tree of Hope can help make it possible for families from any distance receive world-class health care, regardless of their ability to pay. Give Today! Conner Walkenhorst Jennifer Walkenhorst sat at her 20-week ultrasound, puzzled and confused after witnessing the first technician leave the room after viewing what came up on the screen, followed by the second who took a look, and then a third. She ached to know what had left everyone “quiet” about her baby Conner, but was only given a referral and direction to have a second ultrasound at another hospital.At that second ultrasound, Jennifer was asked if she had ever heard of congenital heart disease. She was told that her baby boy had a rare birth defect referred to as heterotaxy, a condition in which the internal organs are abnormally arranged in the chest and abdomen. In Conner’s instance, his heart was flipped and on the opposite side. In the 10 weeks that followed that appointment, Jennifer spent every Monday undergoing 3-4 hours of ultrasound evaluations and stress testing.At 30 weeks pregnancy, Jennifer’s blood pressure began rising. She was placed on modified bed rest, and directed to meet Dr. Charles Huddleston, SLUCare physician and cardiothoracic surgeon at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, who would be planning the “roadmap” for baby Conner. Jennifer recalled visiting the intensive care unit, and meeting some of the amazing staff, but ultimately hearing the confident reinforcement she needed from Dr. Huddleston that “we do this all the time.” She was scheduled for a planned delivery at 39 weeks.Within 24 hours of Conner’s birth, it was decided to transport him to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon's Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and it was determined that the original “plan” for successive corrective surgeries would not be ideal given his anatomy and physiology. What was truly needed for Conner was a heart transplant. Jennifer remembers hearing that news from her hospital bed, wanting so badly to hold her baby boy. She was finally able to do that on November 19, and after much evaluation and testing within that first two weeks of his life, Conner was placed on the list to receive a new heart.During the wait for a new heart, there were lots of consults that followed. Conner had intestinal malrotation, asplenia, and an anatomy that no one had ever seen before – all that would need to be addressed in addition to his sick heart. Jennifer kept a journal, and formed close bonds with her NICU primary nurses. “Those girls were my lifeline," she recalls. “They took care of me and gave me confidence to go home at night.” She recalled one of her primary nurses stating, “When you clock out – we clock in. He’s our baby too, and you need to feel confident about how much we love him.”Conner’s new heart arrived two months after his birth and his road to recovery kept him in the hospital for a total of 6 months. He traveled between the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Transitional Care Unit, facing multiple hurdles including feeding difficulties, RSV and fluid management issues. He was finally discharged two months later, right before Valentine’s Day. He returned over the next few months with relative frequency for fluid overload issues, feeding and vomiting difficulties, cardiac catheterizations with interventions and the necessary surgery to repair his gut malrotation. The steady months of hospitalization necessitated weekly therapy at home, including occupational therapy once a week; physical therapy every other week and dietician visits monthly to follow his progress. Jennifer says she knew this would be his “life,” and that she is grateful for every positive step - every good day. “You find a way to make it work,” she says.Conner is doing well according to his cardiologists and the family celebrated having his first birthday. Recently, Jennifer was presented with a 3D model of Conner’s transplanted heart. This is the second model created for Conner’s anatomy; the first model was from his original heart. Both models have been pivotal to Jennifer’s understanding, and to her clinical team, as they continue to monitor Conner’s development and progress with his one-of-a-kind anatomy.Jennifer is so grateful that she willingly gives back to the hospital that has been there for her and encourages others to do the same. “Cardinal Glennon’s blessings are too many to state – from the technological advances to accessible care,” says Jennifer. “But the greatest blessings are the people – who have this gift of balancing their clinical know-how with their passion and compassion for people. You don’t find that everywhere, and that’s a very important thing to families. I know my dollars will make a difference to everyone, and I give to help people who cannot afford the path and treatments necessary for their children.” She continues, “I was raised Catholic, raised to give to others, and all babies have a right to be here and receive the care they desperately need. There is no better place – simply no better place.”Your gift to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital will help support the miracles that happen every day for our patients. Give Today! We are blessed to have the faith and trust of Luke and his family, and to have friends like you who support our lifesaving work. Your heartfelt donation will not only impact the lives of the children in our care, but also contribute to our Mission: “Through our exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God.” Click Here to Watch the Tree of Hope Commercial Give the Gift of Hope this Christmas Give Hope! The best gift of all this holiday season. Give Today!