Noah was born with a heart defect called pulmonary venous return above the diaphragm. After a picture-perfect pregnancy, Noah started turning blue an hour after delivery. He was quickly placed in the NICU, transferred to a local hospital and declared terminal.
Noah’s parents were referred to Children’s Hospital Colorado. Within 20 minutes of arriving, Noah was diagnosed and a hole was punctured in the wall of his heart – a temporary fix.
After 18 days, Noah had open heart surgery to permanently repair his defect. He was home before Christmas.
Although Noah doesn't remember his surgery or the first few years of appointments, he was raised hearing stories of his time at Children’s Colorado and seeing how passionate his family is about the hospital.
“He has a great appreciation for the special gift of life he was given,” said Noah’s mom, Melissa.
Melissa and her dad are riding in their eighth tour with the Cardiac Climbers. Melissa said it’s their way of giving back to the hospital that saved their son and grandson.
“Noah will tell you his favorite day of the year is not Christmas, or his birthday, it’s day three of the Courage Classic when he gets to hand out medals at the finish line,” said Melissa.
Noah has cheered on riders at the finish line for the last seven years and will continue the tradition this year at the 25th tour.
13-year-old Noah loves helping others, including buying coffee for a soldier at Starbucks, or making necklaces for his mom. He is also an accomplished violinist who has never missed a day of practice, loves spending time with his family, is a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and is academically gifted.
“He has big dreams and he's working very hard every day to make those dreams come true,” said Melissa. “He knows he has Children’s Colorado to thank for much of that.”