Riley loves doing gymnastics and playing the piano. This is how Riley’s mom tells her Riley story:
We found out that we were expecting a week or so after 9/11. Riley’s due date was June 6 of 2002. On a Tuesday in late February, I was put in the hospital (Indiana University Hospital downtown) because of complications from preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. On Friday night, the decision was made to deliver via emergency c-section in an attempt to save both our lives. She was born at 1:29 on Saturday, March 2. She was 15 weeks premature and weighed only 1 lb, 10 oz. She was 13″ long. After a brief visit in my recovery room, she was sent via the tunnels to Riley Hospital for Children.
The two or three weeks were a constant fight. She was not able to breathe on her own so she was intubated. She had a surgery to close a duct in her heart. She had hundreds of x-rays, sometimes on the hour, and blood tests so often that she still has scars on her feet. There were many times that we feared saying goodbye, knowing it could be our last.
Eventually, she started getting stronger. She spent 90 days total in the NICU. She came home on oxygen and a feeding tube, which were both stopped within a couple of weeks. We continued to visit Riley on an outpatient basis, daily at first, then eventually weekly and monthly. Finally, at 18 months, she graduated. Today, she is 9 years old. She loves school, reading and gymnastics.