CHAMP Graduation!

Some time ago I wrote a post about the CHAMP Program at Levine Children’s Hospital (read it here: https://hlhsdad.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/the-champ-program/).  Long story short, the CHAMP Program was designed by the heart team as an effort to keep heart babies healthy and surviving during the period between the Norwood Procedure and the Glenn Procedure (aka the Interstage).  From Feb 13, 2013 to August 7, 2013, we weighed Nolan everyday, read his pulse ox, and recorded it in a binder.  After the Glenn Procedure was complete, we were told we could throw the binder away.  Did we throw it away?  Absolutely not, but it was a great feeling to know he was past this point and on to bigger things!

Well yesterday was a very exciting day as we got to bring Nolan and join in with 5 or 6 other families to celebrate our little heart warriors with a CHAMP Graduation ceremony at Levine Children’s Hospital! 

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The Ceremony was a lot of fun: we got to see all of our friends from the LCH staff, including Nolan’s absolute fav nurse:

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And even Dr. Maxey, who did Nolan’s Glenn Procedure:

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It really makes a heart daddy proud to hear everyone gush about how well your little one looks.  It’s always great to get the opportunity to see everyone when it’s NOT for an appointment or, even worse, an admission of some sort.  It was really good to meet other heart families as well: some who we’ve met before, some who we’ve been communicating with on Facebook, and some who have even read this blog (I was genuinely touched by that).  I think it’s good to get heart families together like that so we can continue to encourage each other…and show of our little monsters too!  Of course, another cool thing was having Greg Olsen in our class as well, since his son finished the CHAMP program just before Nolan did.  I can’t say it enough, but it’s always really cool getting to chat with Greg: he takes the time to talk with everyone and be the best help possible.  I know he leads an incredibly busy life (and man, did the Panthers have an awesome year or what?!), but he always takes the time to talk, and I always enjoy it:

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Nolan also got some media love that day (check it out on his facebook page: facebook.com/SupportTeamNolan).  He was loving all the attention, I know that’s for sure!

Overall it was an awesome time, and it was a great honor to meet all the other awesome families:

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Most importantly, though, I’m really glad we all got to do it as a family:

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So congrats to all the CHAMP Grads!  Onward to bigger things!  Get a job!  Just kidding.

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About Chris Perez

My name is Chris aka HLHS Dad: I’m married with 3 sons. I love photography and the New York Yankees. I’m an admitted pizza snob and amateur balloon animal maker. Every now and then you can catch me being serious…but most of the time I’m quoting random commercials or lines from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

Posted on February 10, 2014, in awareness, Care at Home and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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