Annelise’s journey with St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital began shortly after she was born. Annelise was born with trisomy 21, or Down syndrome. Over the course of her first six months, she was admitted to the hospital many times for reflux, and her doctors quickly discovered she also had multiple heart defects.
These heart defects were taking a considerable toll on her little body. She was struggling to breathe, and struggling to live. She spent three months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Children’s Hospital, and underwent two surgeries to place feeding tubes to keep her from refluxing so she could get to a healthy weight in preparation for heart surgery.
Annelise was transferred to Denver for surgery to repair the three holes in her little heart. Her cardiologist told the family that all she needed was her heart fixed and she’d be fine, Annelise’s mom says. “I had a hard time believing him since she was just so sick. But he was so right and Annelise is now thriving! And along her journey we’ve found a family of highly skilled subspecialty physicians, nurses, dietitians and support staff at St. Luke’s to manage her heart, lungs, thyroid, eyes and stomach.”
While Annelise was in Denver, she and her birth mother found Annelise’s forever family. “We were so excited to be able to finalize our adoption of Annelise in 2014,” her mom says. “Annelise is, without question, our baby, and we take great delight in sharing her life with her beautiful birth mom. We truly are an incredibly blessed family!”