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Meet Patient Champion Halle!

In honor of World Down Syndrome Day, we aim to raise awareness through sharing the story of one of our incredible Patient Champions, Halle.

Halle is a vibrant, social butterfly of a 13-year-old girl. She enjoys being around her friends and classmates. She loves loud music. She is an active Girl Scout Cadette and the Manager for her 7th grade Football Cheer Squad. She has a love for McDonald’s chicken nuggets, BBQ ribs and strawberry ice cream.

When Halle’s mom Susan was pregnant, she and Halle’s dad, Jeff, learned of Halle’s Down syndrome diagnosis. Within a week of the diagnosis, they made the first of many, many visits to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where the cardiac stenographers at the Heart Center confirmed Halle’s congenital heart defect (CHD). This is common in babies born with Down syndrome, with about 40-50% also having some type of a CHD.

When Halle was only 4 months old, she had open heart surgery to repair her Atrioventricular Septal defect and other cardiac issues. Thanks to the cardiothoracic team who specialize in working on tiny hearts, it was a success! After a seemingly long week in the PICU and then the cardiac floor, Halle was able to head home where she begin the work of gaining weight, and has never looked back. Now, Halle and her heart are doing fantastic. She has check-ups at the Heart Center annually with Dr. Rowland.

As she grew, Halle received services from Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Down Syndrome Clinic, a family-centered clinic providing diagnostic and treatment services to children and adolescents and their families. Families are linked with medical, educational, social and financial supports in their communities and resources identified to assist them in meeting the unique needs of their child. Halle has also visited the infusion clinic, been treated for hearing, vision, sinus and gynecology concerns, and received regular physical, speech and occupational therapies at Nationwide Childrens’ Close to Home facilities. “Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been a key part of our lives since before Halle was born,” says Jeff, Halle’s dad.  Since then, we’ve faced many medical challenges and each time we’ve turned to the hospital for help. As Halle has grown, we often find ourselves at the Hospital’s facilities to tackle the next challenge.” Halle is not only an encouraging, kind cheerleader to those around her – she also doesn’t mind showing you a few of the cheer routines she’s practiced. Spunky and full of confidence, Halle lights up any room she enters.

“No matter what life throws at her, Halle is always upbeat and full of sunshine and love. We can all learn a lot about life from Halle’s positive spirit,” says Jeff.


Share this story with friends and family in honor of World Down Syndrome Day!