Our son, Peter, was born in Lansing, Michigan, on the evening of October 8, 2008 – healthy and happy after a normal pregnancy. Then, suddenly, when he was about 4 hours old, he turned blue. At 5 a.m., he was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, a serious congenital heart defect.
We were transferred to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital when Peter was just one day old, and six days later he underwent open heart surgery.
We went home with Peter on November 1 after many ups and downs.
When he was 9 months old, we were back at Mott for a surgery to remove a shunt from the open heart and Peter was only there about 3 days. He just completed his first year of preschool, and a few weeks ago, on April 30, he started playing soccer as a healthy, happy four year old.
We remember so many things from our time at Mott: the smell of the Mott soap, the walk from Ronald McDonald House, the kindness of friends and strangers, the day we nearly lost him, the miracles that allowed us to keep him, the amazing people who perform miracles every day at Mott, and our first meal outside the hospital as a couple when we knew Peter would make it and we would go home (at the diner across the street).
We are thankful for the U-M pediatric cardiologist who diagnosed Peter at Sparrow Hospital, Dr. Monica Goble. We are also thankful for Dr. Aimee Armstrong and Dr. Jennifer Hirsch-Romano, who saved our little boy and gave him a whole lifetime.
We never knew that Mott had a dedicated intensive care unit just for children with congenital heart conditions – the Pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (PCTU) – until we walked through its doors. We hate that this place has to exist, but we love that it does. Without exception, the people who work there are the best of the best. They attacked Peter’s heart defect as a team, they left ego at the door, they included us, were patient with us, and understood our journey. When we go back to visit, they are friendly and welcome us as family.
Finally, we are thankful to the generous donors who make it possible for the people at Mott to do what they do. What they do for families is unbelievable, even indescribable, and we are so very grateful to have this facility and these people right here in Michigan.
Peter and his family will be part of the WTKA Mott Takeover on Friday, May 17. You can hear the Bodkins family during the 11:00 hour on WTKA Sports Talk 1050 AM.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.