Ryane Paige Brown: Share Your Story

A Year of LIfe We Wouldn’t Have Had

By her father, Stewart Brown

On January 11th, 2005, our daughter Ryane Paige Brown was born. My wife and older daughter were excited as we brought Ryane home from the hospital.

Everything was going great until we noticed that Ryane was not eating after ten days being at home. We were very concerned and took her to the emergency room at Huntington Memorial Hospital. We were informed by Dr. Joseph Ahdoot that Ryane had a life-threatening heart condition and would need immediate surgery. So she was transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

My family was shocked and devastated to find out our little girl was so sick. When we arrived at Children’s all the nurses and doctors in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit did their absolute best to fight for Ryane’s life.

While we were exhausted and concerned, we knew Ryane was supported by experienced and well-trained medical staff.

We were informed of Ryane’s condition, called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The only chance she had to survive was to receive surgery from Dr. Vaughn Starnes.

I’ve included a link to a video that ABC News ran on Ryane’s condition:

Ryane survived her surgery and came home on Valentine’s day. It was truly a miracle. As we brought her home from Children’s, the Pasadena Star News took a picture of her and told her story.

There were so many people to thank including:

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The picture above left is a photo of our Valentine’s Day gift.

We brought Ryane home and that’s where she was the happiest. What a gift for a parent, to be able to bring our little girl home!

Throughout the year, Ryane would need to return to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for various procedures.

While it was not her favorite place, we knew that it was necessary because of the complications with her heart. Only Children’s Hospital had expertise to care for Ryane medical needs.

Ryane’s heart grew weaker and weaker and we needed to place her on a heart transplant waiting list. As her parents, this was very difficult, but we needed to give her a fighting chance.

Unfortunately, with our deepest sadness, Ryane could not hold on long enough to receive a new heart. Her doctors and nurses in the ICU did their absolute best and made every possible effort for Ryane. We were personally thankful for all the support we received. In a sense, many of the staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles became our family and many attended and spoke at Ryane’s funeral.

In 2008, I had the opportunity to come to work for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a Senior Systems Trainer in the Information Services Department.

I never imagined coming back to Children’s, much less to work here, after Ryane’s passing. However my wife had a feeling that someday I would work here because of our experience and the mission of the hospital.

We are truly grateful to honor Ryane’s memory by serving the staff and families here at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Since Ryane’s passing we have been blessed to welcome another member of our family, Owen Stewart Brown.

Each day as I come to work, I am reminded of what is truly important in life and of the year of life that we were given with our daughter by the amazing work of the staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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