GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) – What if you could help save a child‘s life?
The doctors and nurses at Riley Children’s Health work hard at just that every day, and now they need your help.
Five-year-old Owen Shetler, of Goshen, was born with a life-threatening heart condition and spent quite a bit of time at Riley.
“I’m going to build Riley Hospital,” Owen said while playing with building blocks.
Riley is a place close to the Shetler family‘s hearts and the place where they saved Owen’s.
In 2014, twins Owen and Evan were born, but it wasn’t long before doctors knew something was wrong with Owen.
“He got transported to Memorial and they found out he had transposition of the great arteries and he was airlifted to Riley the next day,” said Owen’s mom, Robin Shetler.
“He had his first surgery at about 17 hours old, and then his open-heart surgery was at one week,” said Owen’s dad, Chris Shetler. “After that, he was on [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] for four days, which is a pretty aggressive life support. It’s like a bypass.”
At Riley, Owen went into cardiac arrest multiple times. One lasted more than two hours.
Owen’s parents say it’s because of the doctors and nurses at Riley that their son is alive today.
“We both work in health care, and the care there was outstanding from beginning to end, and it still is,” Chris said.
Now, the entire family is back together at home and Owen is happy, healthy and proud of his scars.
Future surgeries are unknown, but Owen checks in with his cardiologist every nine months.
Kids just like Owen need your help. By giving Tuesday, your donation will qualify for matching funds.
16 News Now will have a Riley banner on wndu.com Tuesday. Just head to the website to donate.