Each year I dedicate my fundraising efforts to Ruby Munoz. At 4 years old, Ruby has already demonstrated a resilience and determination for life that is inspiring.
In 2013 Michael and I found ourselves in a small room of the hospital, trying to distract her older sister Scarlett. A doctor walked in, and along with Ruby's parents, we got the news that Ruby's heart was failing, because of an un-diagnosed heart defect and they were placing her on a life support machine to keep her alive long enough to have surgery.
Two months after a surgeon performed open heart surgery to replaced her Aortic Value with her pulmonary valve, and gave her a donor pulmonary valve, Ruby was able to return home to her family. What is astounding to me, is that merely 15 years before her surgery, that type of operation didn't even exist. Ruby will have to have an estimated 4 additional surgeries, as her heart will outgrow the donor valve which will stay the same size. In the meantime, Ruby ran down the aisle as my flower girl, had her first dance recital, and is about to start preschool.
The work of the AHA and the money raised by generous donors like you, helped to research and fund the study that later created the type of surgery Ruby had and helped fund the research and study surrounding the type of life support she was on. Without those things it is 100% certain that she would not be here today. Countless families are grateful for you and your generous support. Thank you!