Patient Champion Hailey's Fundraising Page
Hometown: Grove City, Ohio
Age: 15 (on race day)
Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Lung Disease
Who rides on two wheels, defies all odds against her and can light up the room with her smile? Patient Champion Hailey!
Hailey’s first few months of life certainly were not easy. She was born with Pulmonary Hypertension, a Grade 2 Intraventricular Hemorrhage, Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), and an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). Little Hailey’s fragile life was placed in the talented hands of the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“The moment I laid eyes on my perfect baby girl swaddled tight in the hospital blanket was the happiest moment of my life. Tears of joy filled my eyes and everything else that had ever happened in my life no longer seemed important. Those feelings were quickly overcome with fear, anxiety, and worry as my little girl was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for difficulty breathing before I even got to hold her,” says Hailey’s mother, Ashley.
Hailey’s family was told that their baby girl had a 50% chance of survival and needed to be placed on ECMO (life support).
In the months that followed, every day presented a new challenge, but Hailey continued to persevere. Despite her additional diagnosis of Infantile Cerebral Palsy, four-minute cardiac arrest at two months of age and numerous lifesaving surgeries – Hailey was finally able to go home after four-and-a-half months.
“The thumbprint of the hospital is found in every aspect of Hailey’s life – from her daily medications, monthly specialty appointments, numerous emergency room visits and admissions to the inpatient unit. If it weren’t for the humble dedication of those working tirelessly around the clock, she wouldn’t be the champion she is today,” says Ashley.
Ranked as one of the top 10 pediatric pulmonary programs by US News & World Report, Nationwide Children’s pediatric experts offer specialized patient care and support for the entire family, from the newly diagnosed to children living with respiratory illness for many years.
Hailey has overcome a lot and shown her strength to persevere and never give up. She can now walk on her own for short distances, breathe on her own with the help of oxygen, and go to school with her friends. Her determination to survive has remained constant, and she never lets her disability stand in her way.
Although Hailey has already been through more than most will experience in a lifetime –she’s also a typical teenager who loves swimming in her pool, playing Buddy Ball, getting her nails done, shopping and cuddling with her dog, Harley.
A true fighter and champion, she’ll be inspiring the runners and walkers of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon to follow her example and fight through the challenging times. Participants will draw strength from her contagious smile and passion for life.
Please consider supporting the most meaningful marathon in the country by making a donation today.
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