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Toss for Texas Childrens Hospital

A Fundraiser Like No Other

More than 500 guests donned their boots and Texas-chic apparel at the Houston Polo Club for the 4th annual Toss for Texas Children’s Heart Center event, which raised more than $180,000. Texas Children’s Hospital is ranked No. 1 in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

The bean bag tournament featured light bites and cocktails by A Fare Extraordinaire and a special performance by country music singer, Gary P. Nunn. The event was chaired by Staci and John Donovan and Brooke and Scott Hutson, both of whom have children who receive expert care at Texas Children’s Hospital and at the Heart Center. The “Toss” trophy was presented at a special awards ceremony to conclude the evening’s festivities.

The Donovan Family

When Staci and John Donovan attended the 2013 Toss for Texas Children’s Heart Center event, Staci was pregnant with John William, the couple’s third child. After he was born, a routine six-week appointment revealed that he had a heart murmur. Physicians at Texas Children’s Heart Center diagnosed him with an atrioventricular canal defect — there were two holes between the heart’s chambers and a problem with his mitral valve, which regulates blood flow to the heart.

Texas Children’s Hospital Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., and Dr. Carolyn Altman, a fetal cardiologist, recommended waiting a year for surgery so John William could grow bigger and stronger.

When John William was just 18 months old, Dr. Fraser performed open heart surgery, which was a huge success. After the operation, Staci and John were amazed by the incredible, compassionate care John William received while in the cardiovascular intensive care unit.

Today, he is an active, healthy and thriving little boy, and Staci and John are so grateful for Texas Children’s Heart Center’s amazing team of doctors and nurses who helped give their son a second chance at life.

The Hutson Family

Before she was ever born, Caroline Hutson experienced the miraculous care that the experts at Texas Children’s Hospital provide every day. While Caroline was in utero, her mother, Brooke Hutson, contracted parvovirus B19 — a virus that causes fifth disease in children. While the virus is harmless to adults, it can be fatal to unborn children.

Brooke’s symptoms took her and her husband, Scott, to Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, where an ultrasound confirmed that the virus had caused Caroline to become anemic. Brooke was immediately transferred to Texas Children’s Fetal Center to begin treatment that would save Caroline’s life.

A team of intervention specialists gave Caroline an in utero blood transfusion to fight the anemia, but they still feared that her heart had become so stressed that she wouldn’t survive the night. But Caroline fought. A week later, another ultrasound revealed that the virus had also caused bleeding in her brain. Physicians leapt into action to combat both the anemia and the bleeding. Caroline needed close monitoring for the next two months. Astonishingly, her anemia, brain bleed and heart condition all healed. Brooke carried Caroline to full term, and her doctors agree that she was truly a miracle baby.

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