Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital is a community of socially engaged individuals who share a dedication to the hospital’s mission and serve as a strong voice for children and women who need the most specialized care available.
In addition to raising significant funds for Texas Children’s each year, Ambassadors gather together for a wide array of events including Ambassadors On Call luncheons — where guests hear from Texas Children’s experts and tour world-class facilities — and annual social events such as the Holiday Party and Family Fun Day.
The home of Marita and J.B. Fairbanks was transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland for the seventh annual Ambassadors Holiday Party last December. Nearly 500 guests enjoyed an evening of holiday lights, food, music and dancing, but the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Ambassadors’ annual check — $1.7 million this year — for the hospital’s area of greatest need, Promise: The Campaign for Texas Children’s Hospital.
Among the guests at the Holiday Party were Leigh Anne and John Raymond, who have experienced firsthand the kinds of miracles that happen at Texas Children’s Hospital every day.
Leigh Anne and John Raymond and their children
Leigh Anne and John were ecstatic to discover they were expecting their fourth child. At a routine 20-week ultrasound, they found out they were having a little boy. They also learned that their son had a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects. These defects affect the structure of the heart and cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body. Infants and children with tetralogy of Fallot usually have blue-tinged skin because their blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen. The Raymonds began praying for a miracle.
When Charlie was born three weeks early on February 9, 2015, the Raymonds learned that their prayers had been answered.
“Texas Children’s is the best on the planet. They did miraculous things for us”. – John Raymond
From the beginning, doctors at Texas Children’s had explained that Charlie would most likely need a temporary surgery three to five days after his birth to help him grow strong enough for a major surgery later. At the last ultrasound before his birth, Leigh Anne and John learned that Charlie’s arteries had grown enough that he would not need to have that initial procedure. In fact, he was able to wait six months until August 2015 to have a complex, life-changing surgery. Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., operated for more than eight hours, and the surgery was a success. After just five days, Charlie was smiling and playing in the kitchen of his family’s home.
Family Fun Day
On Sunday, May 1, 2016, more than 950 Ambassadors members and their families enjoyed an afternoon at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center for Family Fun Day. The “Under the Sea“–themed bash, chaired by Keni and Chase Fondren and Christine and David Underwood, featured a petting zoo, crafts, games, a video game bus, balloon art and more! Best of all, 27 bins of items such as play dough sets, crayons, glue and sticker books were donated to the Child Life Program at Texas Children’s. A member of the Child Life team sent this note to the event chairs following Family Fun Day:
“I just wanted to thank the Ambassadors on behalf of the Child Life team for the fabulous donation!! I think I speak for the team, as I saw their joy as they selected items. THANK YOU so much for featuring Child Life and donating things to benefit the department. These items will help them do their job in therapeutic play and make a big impact on the patient experience.
Many thanks again!”