A Patient Becomes Family in an Unexpected Way

A Patient Becomes Family in an Unexpected Way


Blaze and FamilyAs a nurse on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Angela Farnan has cared for countless children over the years. Her work is dedicated to the patients she serves as well as caring for their families. She embodies the OSF HealthCare Mission of serving our patients with the greatest care and love in the spirit of Christ and in the example of Francis of Assisi.

While Angela cares for kids dealing with all types of conditions and illness, her primary focus is caring for children undergoing treatment at the Congenital Heart Center at OSF Children’s Hospital. It is the only comprehensive congenital heart program in the state that cares for kids and adults outside of Chicago.

Angela cares for these patients like they are her own children. She always dreamed of having her own biological children. However, soon after she married her husband, Rick, they discovered that she couldn’t get pregnant. But Angela didn’t dwell on this fate. She had her kids in the PICU. Then along came a special patient named Blaze.

Blaze was a newborn when he first came to the PICU in May of 2017. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect that was detected in utero. Blaze’s condition requires that he undergo several surgeries from birth to age 4 or 5. His first surgery happened when he was just three days old. Angela was part of his care team during his recovery. During this time, she got to know Blaze’s mother. Blaze’s family is not from around the area close to the hospital, and the financial costs of traveling and having a newborn with a heart defect were quickly adding up for the family.

Angela did what she does best in caring for the family and the patient. After a few months, and many prayers and discussions, Blaze’s parents asked if Angela and Rick would become Blaze’s primary caregivers and officially adopt Blaze as their own.

Overjoyed, Angela and Rick now have a bouncing soon to be 2 year old. Blaze has brought a new sense of purpose to their family, and they are excited to see him grow. His third surgery is planned to occur between the age of 3 and 5. One day Blaze may need a heart transplant, but for now Angela and Rick are navigating life with a happy, active toddler.

You too can support patients in the PICU and walk in the footsteps of Angela and Rick. Donate now to support patients just like Blaze utilizing the Congenital Heart Center at OSF Children’s Hospital.

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