Nurse Riley Uses Her Journey With Birth Defects To Build Relationships With Families – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A nurse at Riley Hospital for Children uses her journey with congenital heart defects to build special relationships with families.

Sarah Crider was born with several congenital heart defects. She had surgery when she was a baby and again last year. Diagnoses like hers occur in one in 100 babies. They are little survivors thanks to advances in medicine, but as a patient herself, Crider is able to put her whole heart into her career.

“I think care is best provided by people who understand the complexity and nuances of birth defects,” said Dr. Larry Markham, pediatric cardiologist at Riley Hospital for Children.

Much like families at the Riley Heart Center being diagnosed or preparing for surgery, Crider and her family did just that when she was a baby.

“I can share that I also had a diagnosis when I was a baby and now I have had a full life and have been able to grow up and enjoy sports and enjoy doing things that I could do and have a career. and I think that’s accountability for them, ”Crider said.

As someone who knows exactly what waking up from surgery feels like, Crider shares pain management and healing tips with his patients. She said when her patients know she’s been through it as well, they tend to take her advice to heart.

“It’s very similar to many of our other patients that they’ve had this condition their entire lives and learned to deal with it,” Dr. Markham said.

It sounds perfect to have a heart patient as a cardiac nurse, but it wasn’t until after six years of her teaching career that Crider realized her true calling.

“I had that magical moment where I sat down and really thought about the magic happening here. They were making these little hearts beat that shouldn’t necessarily beat. Now it seems silly that I don’t. didn’t think about it at first, but I really love what I’m doing, ”Crider said.

Now, as a teacher turned nurse, she uses American Heart Month to educate people about diagnoses like hers and that of 40,000 children each year.

“Unless you’re immersed in this world, a lot of people don’t even consider it or know it. There are a lot of people with a congenital heart defect who continue every day despite the limitations or current issues and they strive to live long and happy lives, ”Crider said.