My Doernbecher Story




Rowan's Story

When Rowan was born, we had no clue that he had Down Syndrome, despite all of the prenatal testing. Due to his condition he also was born with an AV canal (three holes in his heart).
The many tests that were to ensue were overwhelming and frightening beyond comprehension. We went from joyful, expectant parents to doctors talking about echos, EKG's, blood screenings, hearing tests, eye exams, milestones that he may not meet, and worse, open heart surgery. We were scared.
However, the first time we met with his cardiologist, Cindy Farnstrom, she explained everything so clearly so that we could understand what was happening with our little boy. The last time we met with her was our first time at Doernbecher's in Portland (usually we saw her when she came to Eugene once a month). We were in awe of what a wonderfully beautiful setting it was for a children's hospital and how understanding, accepting, and friendly all of the staff were. While there, he was to have a sedated echo and through the entire procedure the nurses and techs explained step by step what they were doing and what to expect. Dare I say, we actually had fun at our visit.
Afterward we saw Cindy, and as always, she explained everything so that we could understand what was happening. She gave us estimated timelines and exactly what signs to what for so that we could be more proactive in his care. She gave us hope through understanding.
Rowan is now two years old, and although he will still need open heart surgery by the time he is three, we know that he is in good hands at Doernbecher's. We couldn't ask for a more supportive environment to trust with our sons care.

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