Meet Claire: 2021 Family Advocacy Week Champion
Claire is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from June 13-18, 2021. Through this event, Claire and her family will discuss her health journey, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s role in providing Claire with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Claire.
A few hours after birth, Claire’s skin began to turn blue while she was in the hospital nursery. The neonatologist on call suspected a congenital heart defect and called for a helicopter transport to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Claire was airlifted in the middle of the night from Jackson, Tennessee to Memphis. She was quickly diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries and needed immediate surgery.
“We were frightened,” says Alicia, Claire’s mother. “We had experienced the most joy imaginable when she was born and then everything turned completely upside down.”
A few days later, Claire underwent an arterial switch, an open-heart procedure to repair the transposition. There were complications following the surgery, so she had to go back for two more emergency procedures in the following days.
At two weeks old, Claire was able to come home. Now several years later, she only goes back to see her cardiologist on an annual basis.
“Le Bonheur saved my life when I was just a few days old,” says Claire.