March 22, 2016

Race Ambassador

Every year the Kerrington’s Heart, Inc. Board of Directors selects a child and their family to be the race ambassador for the Wild Hearts Fun Run. The race ambassador is a brave Congenital Heart Defect warrior, and their outstanding family, that embodies the true meaning of perseverance. Our race ambassador represents what the Wild Hearts Fun Run is all about, and the incredible people we strive to support.

This year our very deserving race ambassador is Gabbie Foutch, and the Foutch family!

Gabbie Foutch was born in Illinois on May 17, 2007. At 2 days old her parents were told she had a heart murmur and a CHD (congenital heart disease) called Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia.

They were able to return home after Gabbie spent roughly 1 week in the NICU. They began monthly checkups with Gabbie’s cardiologist. While driving home from her two month checkup (July 2007), they got a call asking if they could be in St. Louis, MO the next day to prep Gabbie for an open heart surgery. Her hole was narrowing and she needed surgery right away. Gabbie successfully underwent her first open heart surgery and they were able to close the hole in her heart.

The Foutch family moved to Kentucky in March 2011. Gabbie was doing very well. They transferred all of her doctors to UK hospital and began 6 month checkups. Then in 2014 Gabbie became very tired and weak. She had further testing that showed she needed to go to Cincinnati for a cardiac cath. They went to Cincinnati in June 2014 for the cath, where they added a balloon stent to her Left Pulmonary Artery.

Gabbie also has mild mitral valve stenosis, a slight leak in her left ventricle, keratosis pilaris, sensory processing disorder, asthma, and repaired (left) hip dysplasia. She has also had hearing loss since she was on IV antibiotics at 2 months old that they did not find out about until this year.

Gabbie is a strong and happy little girl, with the biggest smile ever! She has fought so much in her short life and she still has many more milestones to go! Sometime in the future she will go for another procedure to get an artificial Pulmonary Valve. For ANY CHD child, this is a lifelong battle.

The Foutch family is very thankful for Kerrington’s Heart Inc, who has been there for them since 2015; doing things like offering family camps, family gatherings, heart moms meetings, certified CPR classes and much more! The financial, educational, and emotional support has always been a huge blessing to them, they said.