Roxanne and Angel Bejarano first became acquainted with RMHC-CNI and its housing programs when their son Miles was first diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in 2013. His heart condition was found by accident, as he did not exhibit the normal symptoms of someone with heart problems.
At three months old, father Angel was alarmed to see that his son Miles was not breathing normally after only one minute of tummy time. Roxanne called the paramedics, who arrived and took him to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital for observation. After several hours of waiting in the hospital, a resident requested a chest x-ray. Later, an echocardiogram and EKG were performed. All tests indicated that Miles was in heart failure and needed a heart transplant. “We were shocked that his heart was working at 11 percent. “All the doctors were amazed because Miles was not acting like a baby in heart failure,” Roxanne said.
His official diagnosis was dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, usually starting in the heart’s main pumping chamber (his left ventricle was enlarged). The ventricle stretches and thins (dilates) and can’t pump blood as well as a healthy heart can.
After 32 days of waiting, the family was told that a heart donor was available and the surgery was performed successfully. The nurses were so happy with the outcomes that they referred to Miles as a “Rockstar”. During this time, the Bejarano family stayed at the Ronald McDonald Sleep Rooms inside Lurie Children’s. “Staying there was amazing and we are truly thankful for all the help we received from our social worker to help make this process easier,” Roxanne said.
After the transplant was complete, the family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s on the House’s transplant floor. “It was great because our family was able come and stay with us,” Roxanne said. “Our family was overwhelmed by everything the House provided and they were very accommodating and provided everything we needed,” she said.
Miles, who will turn two-years-old in November, is doing very well while adjusting to his medication. Roxanne has continued her association with RMHC-CNI by becoming a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s,spending her time on the transplant floors twice a month. “It’s important to give back,” she said.