Eliza’s Story

Baby Eliza shows off her UH ID badge

“Eliza showed us her heart warrior ways before she could walk. Our first baby was diagnosed with double inlet left ventricle, or single ventricle, at 19 weeks gestation during a routine ultrasound.

“We were terrified – but Dr. Eric Devaney, Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at UH Rainbow, helped us prepare for our newborn’s seemingly inevitable open-heart surgery days after birth.

“Eliza was born full-term, and by some miracle, did NOT need surgery! The months that followed however, were close to a parent’s worst nightmare. Eliza was admitted to UH Rainbow multiple times, from failure-to-thrive to pneumonia, RSV to Pulmonary Artery Banding procedure at seven months, our little heart warrior quickly became the strongest person we’d ever met.

“On May 3, 2018, Eliza was finally stable enough for the Glenn procedure. When we entered the pediatric intensive care unit to see Eliza for the first time after surgery, Dr. Alex Rotta, who had cared for her when she was so sick, flashed us the biggest smile and held up his hand for a high-five. That small gesture was all the reassurance we needed to know our little girl was going to be OK.

“Today, Eliza is an independent and spunky two-and-a-half year old, and a great big sister! We see our friends at UH Rainbow, who became more like family, less often these days. But not a day goes by that we don’t quietly thank them for helping to heal our sweet Eliza’s heart.” – Jennifer and Nick Delich, Eliza’s parents

Eliza’s progress was followed closely by UH Rainbow’s Hearts at HOME – an app specifically designed for parents caring for a child with a congenital heart defect. She is now part of UH Rainbow’s Cardiac Neurodevelopment Program, a multidisciplinary team of nurses and doctors working together to ensure a child is meeting their milestones. Given all that Eliza has experienced and overcome, she continues to make tremendous progress with her growth and development.

To learn more about UH Rainbow’s Hearts at HOME and Cardiac Neurodevelopment Program visit bit.ly/CHDAware or call 216-844-1234.