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OU Medicine Makes Special House Call for COHFH Family

OU Medicine has sponsored nine Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity home builds in the past; however, this year’s build was special to both the volunteers and the receiving family.

Jeffery, Sadae and their two daughters, Brielle age 9 and Ajah age 2, are now proud COHFH homeowners. Before getting to this point in their life, however, they had to overcome some health challenges. Ajah was born with congenital heart disease that required 3 open heart operations, and Brielle was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

On December 2, 2014, Ajah had her first heart surgery at OU Medicine, and all went well. However, a few days later, on December 7, Brielle was admitted to the ICU and was then diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Both sisters were in the hospital for a week before being released.

Fast forward to OU Medicine’s annual spring build. Imagine the volunteers’ surprise when this year’s build came with two familiar faces, Brielle and Ajah! “God intervened on this build,” said OU Medicine’s Project Manager Kelli Walsh. “We were signed up for our yearly blitz build, and when we received the family’s story I knew right away they were actually patients of ours. Once I shared the story, in my sign-up email to our employees, The Heart Center jumped at the chance to help– because in fact, Ajah was a patient of theirs.”

The OU Medicine team, along with OU Physicians, OU Children’s Physicians, College of Medicine and OU Medical Systems was able to help this family in a way unrelated to healthcare, which was a very rewarding opportunity for them.

“Being able to help with this build provided them with a different view of the families that they work with,” said Kelli. It was very gratifying to meet them in person outside of our clinic and see that what we do means so much to them. We really feel that being able to serve them outside of the hospital in such a personal way helped us connect more with them and show them that we truly care about them as not just a ‘family’ but as a part of OUR family.”

This build was unique for OU Medicine not only because they were able to give their time to a family, but because this family was their own.  “When it hits so close to home, it enables us to really see the impact far after the volunteer days are over,” said Kelli.

OU Medicine was happy to see the family doing well and was excited to welcome them into their new home at the COHFH home dedication on June 15th! The OU Medicine volunteers are equally as excited to continue building more houses for COHFH families in the future!

Thank you OU Medicine!


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Posted in General News, OU Medicine, Outreach, Special Events, Volunteer