2011 Miracle Ambassador
St. Louis Children's Hospital
Audrey was born on August 17, 2000. On the day her parents were about to take her home, one of the nurses decided to take one last listen to her heart before she left. The nurse had Dr. Bromberg, the pediatric cardiologist on call, come in and examine Audrey. After being transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and having several tests run, it was determined that Audrey was born with several heart defects. Her main defect was Transposition of Great Arteries (TGA) combined with pulmonary stenosis and a ventricular septal defect. Although her oxygen saturation levels were low, her parents were eventually allowed to take Audrey home along with a monitor. Her saturation levels continued to drop, and at 6 weeks old, it was time for her first surgery.
On September 29th, 2000, Audrey had her surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to insert a shunt which allowed the oxygenated blood another path to reach the body. The days following Audrey’s surgery her parents spent a lot of time in the NICU, which is where they began to realize that there were patients and families in there from all over the country. They realized that as bad as Audrey’s defects seemed to them, there were so many other children with much more complicated health problems. The Koch family knew they were fortunate to have such a highly regarded children’s heart hospital so close to home.
Once Audrey arrived home, the goal was to have her gain as much weight as possible in preparation for her next surgery which was schedule at 10 months old. On June 14th, 2001 Audrey has her second surgery, followed by her third surgery in 2002, when the doctors did some “creative patching” to allow for more efficient blood flow. To everyone’s amazement, Audrey was released from the hospital within just a few short days.
Audrey has always led a very active life. She loves softball and even played the last game of the softball season with her team despite a surgery in the middle of the season. On top of softball, she does gymnastics and sings in various choirs. Her ability to be so active and involved is a testament to the wonderful and amazing work that is being done at St. Louis Children’s Hospital each and every day!