WVU Children’s Hospital is a place Lara and Scott Himrod say they will never forget.
The first experience was with their nephew Jacob, who was born with half of his heart missing.
On the day he was scheduled to go home doctors noticed something was wrong and he was flown to WVU Children’s Hospital.
Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.
“I do feel he was given the best doctor that he could have been given it was just one of those situations where they couldn’t figure out how to make him better,” Lara Himrod says.
Lara was 9 weeks pregnant with her second at the time.
And now– she was considered a high risk pregnancy due to genetics.
She received special ultrasounds and genetic counseling.
A sigh of relief came when the results came back positive, no signs of complications.
She gave birth to her son Ryan at 40 weeks.
“As soon as he was evaluated they knew something wasn’t quite right and realized he had a spontaneous pneumothorax which is a pocket of air outside of the lungs,” she said. “When the pediatrician examined him they felt he could end up needing a chest tube, so they thought it would be best to send him to Ruby and we of course agreed so before I could even hold him and a flight team came.”
Lara and her husband Scott, a volunteer fire chief, were shaken.
Familiar with life flight procedures, Scott headed to Morgantown with Ryan.
“Does it prepare you for one of your own? No nothing does,” Scott said.
And even though they may not have been prepared, WVU Children’s Hospital was and accommodated their every need from a place to stay to a way that allowed Lara to see her baby in NICU via web cam.
Most importantly, they kept Ryan alive.
“I remember him calling me and he was in tears and said the helicopter ride helped him it helped remedy it some and then he just needed some more oxygen and I think just needed some time with mom and he was good to go,” Lara says.
Fast forward to today, Ryan is a very active 6 year-old who plays golf, baseball and hockey.
He is already talking about how he wants to give back to the world and be a hero like his dad, as a firefighter.
“He risks his life for people he doesn’t even know,” Ryan says.
Ryan has an outfit he wears just like his fathers.
He drives a police cruiser around to patrol their neighborhood and it’s a good thing too, because he was the first to spot when one of his neighbor’s houses caught on fire.
“I was a hero I really am for saving those people,” he exclaims. “If I didn’t see that fire what would have happened?”
Little does he know he is more than just a hero, he’s a miracle.
“You know I cant ask for anything better,” Lara says. “We say all the time hes our miracle guy. Two months before we found out that we were pregnant with him we had a miscarriage and our doctor told us we wouldn’t get pregnant right away and we weren’t trying but here he came.”
Now that very hospital that they hardly knew existed makes them emotional just to drive past.
“I know I still tear up when I see it and when I’m down in Morgantown I can’t go past the hospital without welling up, she adds. “It has deeply impacted us and we count our blessings everyday.”
You can hear more stories like the Himrod’s by attending the WVU Children’s Gala as well as meet the staff on the transport team who helps to save lives like Ryan’s. The gala will be held Saturday, August 1st a 6:00p.m. at Wheeling Park’s White Palace.
WTRF is proud to be part of this event.