The Rycker Roo Project's 1st ever recipient
Evelyn was the 1st recipient of the Rycker Roo Project in March 2018! We hadn’t planned on donating any Roos until we Launched in March 21st World Down syndrome Day 2018.
After hearing Evelyn’s story we new we needed to help right away! Come to find out, little Evelyn was actually in the room right next to Rycker in the cardiac intensive care!
We interviewed her mom and she too said the only thing that calmed little Evelyn was the Mamaroo! We knew after that, that she would most definitely be our first Rycker Roo kiddo!
I knew shortly after meeting Evelyn and her family that this was destined to be. The smile on her moms face and seeing Evelyn’s first time in the Roo made me happy beyond words that I could provide that sense of ease not only to Evelyn but to her mama Beth as well! This is why I started The Rycker Roo Project!
Evelyn’s parents found out they were expecting in November 2016. At just 12 weeks gestation they found out Evelyn Trisomy 21 ( Down syndrome). They were sent to Magee for additional testing. They made many trips back and forth every week an hour and half both ways! They did an echocardiogram and found out their baby had a heart defect ASD (Atrial Septal Defect).They were told little Evelyn wouldn’t need any surgeries until she was one to two years of age. Evelyn was born at just 34 weeks weighing at 3 lbs 10 oz! She was immediately taken to the NICU at Magee. Her mother Beth wasn’t able to see her for almost 6 hours, when she finally did get to see her bundle of joy, she was so tiny,so fragile, but yet so precious. She stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks and was then transferred to the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh for feeding support. She was eventually transferred to Children’s hospital after having breathing issues, where she had to have a supraglottoplasty, allowing her to breathe easier.
After following up with a cardiologist they found out Evelyn would need open heart surgery sooner than expected. After coming down with Bronchiolitis they needed to move back the original date from January 22nd to February 5th at 7am. Evelyn was in the hospital recovering for about a week. She still has some feeding issues to work out but is doing great! I asked Evelyn’s mom Beth what would she like to tell another heart mom just finding out their diagnosis or expecting a heart hero and she said “The journey is never over, CHD or Congenital Heart Defects are lifelong. There is no “cure”. Together we can spread awareness.” She also said “My daughter is my biggest inspiration. What inspires me most is her will to fight, even when CHD tries to knock her down!” She says to the babies who have CHD “ You have the heart of a warrior, you were born to survive!”
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The Rycker’s Heart Heroes Foundation along with other heart moms,dads,relatives,doctors,nurses, and those directly affected by CHD will be bringing you content,stories,and articles to help you the families or those interested cope with a hospital stay or CHD.