One of the benefits of being a 100-year-old pediatric hospital is seeing entire lifetimes result from the care and expertise of your medical team.
A great example of a lifetime saved at Children’s is Chris Lederer. When he was only one month old, Chris became a patient at Children’s. He was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, which caused his heart to race like a sprinter in comparison to healthy hearts that keep the steady pace of a marathon runner.
“My heart worked at about 120 percent of what the average heart is supposed to,” he said.
Beating the Odds
Chris’ initial prognosis was frightening. Doctors told his family, “If he makes it to young adulthood without needing open-heart surgery, then he’s doing good.” But those same doctors were committed to doing all they could to provide him the best possible outcome.
Chris was consequently monitored very closely as a child at Children’s. He came for a full checkup every year to monitor his heart’s activity.
And as Chris grew, so did his prognosis. New advancements and technologies in heart care were coming out regularly, and the heart team at Children’s was at the forefront of those advancements – applying them to patients like Chris.
Outside of his annual checkups and not being allowed to play football, Chris lived a normal childhood. And it turned out that he didn’t need surgery until last year at age 32 and has had no complications since.
He leads an active life with his own family and even serves as the vice president of FairLease in Dallas.
Returning to Children’s
Last year, one of his coworkers at FairLease had to bring his son to Children’s for a blood disorder. The family felt so cared for that Chris’ coworker orchestrated a group of FairLease employees, including Chris, to serve as phone bank volunteers during the annual Christmas is for Children Radiothon.
“We were so touched by the stories we heard and the difference we could make that we decided to get involved on a deeper level,” Chris said.
So, FairLease became Radiothon sponsors in 2012, donating $250 to Children’s for every vehicle they leased from September through the beginning of December. The result of those donations was the largest sponsorship in the history of the Radiothon – $47,000. Chris presented the check for the full amount, along with FairLease president and CEO Eric Pointer, during the 2012 Radiothon.
“It’s really amazing to have the opportunity to come full circle with Children’s,” he said. “My life was saved here as a child, and now I get to help make sure that other children will receive the care they need at Children’s. It’s a privilege.”