Riley's journey

By shannon bickford

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Riley Michelle Bickford was born on the morning of October 10th, 2007, at the University of Washington in Seattle. We knew when she was born that she would have a cleft lip and possibly a cleft palate, but nothing could prepare us for the weeks to follow.

It seemed life went by like a whirlwind after Riley was born. Children's was prepared to take riley from UW after her birth because of feeding issues that would come up due to the cleft, so it was no surprise that on her second day on this planet she was transferred from the ICU at UW to Children's Hospital.

When we arrived we planned for a short visit, I thought to myself, "as soon as we can get her to take a bottle, we can go home." Well that didn't exactly happen. Riley was assigned a team of doctors through Craniofacial, her pediatrician was Dr. Hing. I must say through it all she was always one step ahead of the game and we felt like she was a part of our family from the get go. Dr. Hing immediately ordered a CT scan and ultrasound of Riley's brain and later diagnosed her with mild semi lobar Holoprocencephaly. A few days later Riley was having problems maintaining her sodium levels so Dr. Hing sent her to the ICU where she was treated for Diabetes Insipidus. Riley spent several days in the ICU and the nurses were amazing with her, they rocked and cradled her when I could not be there with her and treated her as if she was their newborn daughter. Two weeks after Riley arrived we were finally able to take her home.

She is now almost 5 months old and doing great! She has been to Children's every month for check ups and has been re-admitted half a dozen times. Through all of it the Craniofacial team has been our second family, and we are truly blessed to have each one of Riley's doctors, nurses, and staff in our lives. Without Children's I do not know where we would be today, but my little angel is definitely in good hands. God bless everyone at Children's Hospital for everything they do.

What does Children's mean to you, your child and your family?

Children's Hospital saved my daughter's life.