Timmer Gives Salute to IHOP

Maxwell Timmer, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

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On March 12, IHOP held its National Free Pancake Day, which local IHOP restaurants in Wisconsin use as a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Since 2006, IHOP has raised more than $30 million for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Those donations help children, like myself, get the opportunity for life-saving treatment and equipment at Children’s.

“The generosity of IHOP and Free Pancake Day helps support the thousands of children treated annually at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin,” said Christine Baranoucky, vice president of engagement and stewardship at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin performs about 20,000 surgeries a year to children and is a level 1 Children Surgery Center and Trauma Center. Children’s also invested $103 million in community programs and services with the goal of keeping children healthier and safer while they age.

As many of you know, I had two heart procedures when I was six years old to repair one of my aortic valves. These procedures occurred at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin under a new surgery procedure created by the then head of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. James Tweddell. The first surgery corrected the degenerating valve by using my stem cells.

After the surgery, the doctors realized they accidentally hit my thoracic duct in the process and it caused the duct to drain continuously. This resulted in the doctors going back into surgery to correct it. This also meant that they had to re-break my ribs to get to the duct (they had to break the ribs in the first surgery as well).

To fix the draining, they put 25 titanium clips all the way up my thoracic system. What was originally a 4-5 day visit at Children’s turned into a 16-day visit. I will most likely have to go back for a surgery when I am in my late teens to insert either an artificial valve or a pig/cow valve.

Even with the complication, Children’s gave the highest level of care and support to my family during this time. Without Children’s and the surgery itself I would not be here.

I am forever grateful to the doctors, nurses  and everyone at Children’s for what they did for me.

 

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