We are so excited to celebrate Oakes' 7th birthday with a mini fundraiser to benefit not only Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation, but also to raise money for one of Oakes' best friends ever, Christy Merrell.
Here's the story: Oakes met Christy after his double lung transplant. Oakes was about 3 months old, and very fragile. He was recovering from his transplant and being treated for rejection all at the same time. He was puffy, groggy, and was facing countless obstacles. He had no clue what he was up against at the time, but we knew in our hearts that the love + joy that Christy gave to Oakes as he recovered was priceless medicine that no doctor could replicate. We loved the days when Christy stopped her cart, outside of Rm. 9 of the CICU. Christy would quietly come in and play her guitar for Oakes. Or somedays it was drums, some days a harmonica. And some days when Oakes was older and feeling better she would put instruments in front of Oakes and let him make his own music. But there was always one constant with Christy. When she visited, Oakes' heart rate was great, his blood pressure evened out, he smiled, he interacted, he participate in the world in a way that he only could when Christy was with us.
We ♥️ Christy: Christy is the one and only, super mighty music therapist at St. Louis Childrens Hospital and her days are spent interacting with sick kids and their parents. She loves on them, she plays with them, she plays for them, she pulls them into her beautiful healing world of music - and oh, how she is loved! Our plan: Christy is in need of a new guitar, she is dreaming of a digital stethoscope to record kids heart beats and then play it back for kiddos, she also wants some new harmonicas, bells and drums that she can give to patients for therapy when she isn't around.
We will keep this fundraiser up for the next two weeks and after that time we will invite donors to The Clover and The Bee for some Birthday cake, a drink and to help us present Christy with all of her goodies! We can't think of a better way to honor our Oakes, than to spoil his dear Christy and families all over St. Louis Children's Hospital.
*We have never hosted a min-fundraiser like this before and have been ASTOUNDED by your response! Our initial goal was $5,000 in two weeks, but between social media and one email bast we hit that goal in less than a week, so with another week and several more posts and email still coming we have adjusted our goal to $10,000. The exciting news is that we can buy everything on Christy's list, and the even more exciting news is that with the additional funds raised can go to our mission of supporting families with kids with heart defects. Sitting right next to my laptop are two application for the sweetest but most stressed out families - and we can award grants to them all tied up with Oakesies birthday love once we hit this new goal.
Thank you for your generosity and thank you for being Mighty!
The Ortyl family