OUR CHAMPION CHILDREN
2024 CHAMPION CHILD
Connor was diagnosed with the most severe form of spina bifida and hydrocephalus at his routine 18-week ultrasound. Before his birth at OU Children’s Hospital, Connor’s family was connected with the neurosurgery team to learn expectations for his care after birth. He was born at 36 weeks and was immediately taken to the NICU for ten days. At two days old, he had his first surgery. This was to close the hole on his back to protect his exposed spinal cord. Then, three days later, he had brain surgery to place a shunt to drain the fluid in his brain (hydrocephalus). Connor had multiple brain and spinal cord surgeries in the first few years of his life, including a weeklong PICU stay with three shunt surgeries after he kept falling.
Just before he turned two, he began having long, life-threatening seizures. The seizures have caused Connor to have speech and cognitive delays. Connor receives OT, PT, and speech therapies to help with his development. Over the last 12 years, Connor has had 26 surgeries. Many of them were on his brain and spinal cord. Connor has paralysis in his lower half and has required multiple orthopedic surgeries in the last few years to correct his scoliosis, hip dysplasia, and some broken bones caused by low bone density. Connor sees many specialists funded by Children’s Health Foundation to manage his needs.
He loves watching sports, swimming, and watching big sister dance. He enjoys playing adaptive baseball with his hometown, Courage League, and attending Wheelie Club (an all-abilities club of varying activities). He also loves Sonic the Hedgehog, Wild Kratts, bean burritos, queso, and tacos.
VIVANNE & vERONICA
2023 CHAMPION CHILDREN
Veronica and Vivianne Stowell were born at 26 weeks and 2 days after their mother was diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome at 15 weeks. They were born via emergency c-section around 26 weeks after noticing that the twins’ heartbeats were irregular. When they were born, they had numerous issues to overcome. They overcame eye disease, respiratory issues, and brain bleeds in their first months of life. Veronica had her 1st surgery at 2 weeks old. She had surgery to place the feeding tube at 3 months old after being diagnosed with failure to thrive. She continues to use a feeding tube put in during her time in the NICU. Veronica was in the NICU for 134 days while Vivianne stayed for 95 days. Veronica attends speech & occupational therapy. Veronica was diagnosed with Congenital Growth Delay at 6 years old & now takes daily growth hormone shots. Veronica was diagnosed with Tourette’s at 10 years old & her condition is monitored closely by her neurologist.
They both enjoy attending Girl Scouts, playing with friends, playing Minecraft with daddy, & playing the drums. Veronica loves to sing around the house, play Roblox with friends, ride her hoverboard, & play with her puppies, Benny & Gypsy. Vivianne loves to ride her bike & hoverboard, do all sorts of arts & crafts, play games, & watch movies with her mom.