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Welcome to my CHOC Celebration Personal Page!

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez

As many of you know, our family is a CHOC family through and through. Our first baby, Lucy, was sent to CHOC at two months of age due to a heart murmur that her pediatrician wanted to get checked out. From the moment we walked through the doors, CHOC was nothing but amazing. They took us straight back and within minutes had multiple doctors and nurses caring for our sweet baby girl. They informed us that they would be admitting her to the cardiovascular ICU and helped make arrangements for me to stay by her side throughout this whole ordeal. While this was undoubtedly one of the hardest nights of our lives, it was a blur. I remember Lucy's nurse coming in around 3 am and sending me to bed. Lucy was crying inconsolably and she said it was her job to take care of her and I needed to rest because there would be a lot going on the next day and some important decisions to be made. I will never forget that kindness and the thousand other kindnesses from doctors and nurses over the next week while Lucy underwent surgery and recuperation. A few weeks later we got the news that Lucy had a genetic disorder and that we would need to see a slew of other specialists. Over the next few months Lucy saw a cardiologist, urologist, ENT, geneticist, audiologist, ophthalmologist , and was evaluated for PT, OT, and speech services. All of our CHOC specialists were absolutely amazing. Since then we have been discharged from some specialists and seen new ones, but all have been wonderful. Unfortunately our history with CHOC did not end there. In January of 2020, our three week old son, Henry, caught what we assumed was a cold. After two days we noticed some difficulty breathing so we brought him in to the CHOC ER. Again the doctors and nurses were wonderful. They attempted mutliple methods to help him breathe better, but eventually the decision was made to admit him to the ICU. Over the next several hours they ramped up his breathing support and by morning they had to intubate him. I stayed with him in the hospital, pumping as often as I could, talking with doctors and nurses, and reading books to my sweet baby boy. The doctors were amazing, always including me in the morning and evening rounds, keeping me informed on their plans for his treatment. The nurses supported me while pumping, making sure I had free meals in the cafeteria so I could keep up my supply, and helping me to do what I could in changing and bathing Henry. After 22 days on a ventilator I was finally able to hold my son again. They supported me and him in learning to feed on his own, weaning him off oxygen, and helping me hold and care for him as much as I was able. Again we left with a list of specialists to see including neurology, a pulmonologist, cardiologist, and gastroenterologist. Every one was just as amazing as those we worked with for Lucy. Again this was not the end of our experience with CHOC. In October, we lost our sweet baby boy as a result of his breathing issues and genetic condition. The nurses were right there with us while they attempted to revive him. Then we got to know a whole new side of CHOC. We met with the chaplain who stayed with us while I held Henry for the last time and baptized him because his baptism had been cancelled due to the pandemic. We met representatives from Child Life Services who took impressions of his hands and fingers to make memory items for us, made a memory box with clippings of his hair, and hooked us up with services to help our daughter understand and grieve too. I cannot say enough about all of the amazing people at CHOC. They have been a bright spot in some of the darkest times of our lives. It is our privilege to give back to them each year and hope that you will join us in helping support this amazing organization. I am so excited to be participating in CHOC Walk's 30th anniversary event - CHOC Adventure in the Park presented by the Disneyland(R) Resort to raise funds for CHOC! Even as the pandemic continues to linger, and has changed our world, one thing remains unchanged: children still count on CHOC to help them get better. Which is why this year's event will be reimagined so we can once again join together as a community. Please help me exceed my fundraising goal for the benefit of the children and families of Southern California by: -DONATING NOW by clicking the "Donate" button above or -JOINING ME at this year's event - SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, August 27, 2022 - for the CHOC Adventure in the Park presented by the Disneyland(R) Resort. Every dollar counts for kids! Many Thanks, Jennifer


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