Patient Profile - Bella
In 2013, Bella’s heart disease changed. For years, the main issue had been the thickness of the walls of her heart, but over time her symptoms began to show signs of dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood effectively. A subcutaneous implantable defibrillator, similar to a pacemaker, was implanted under Bella’s chest skin at the University of Washington Medical Center, which partners with Seattle Children’s in the care of older adolescents. She was one of the first children to have a defibrillator implanted directly under her skin instead of in the great vessels of her chest. The device sends electrical shocks to the heart to treat an abnormal heartbeat.
Unfortunately, at the age of 17, Bella’s heart condition began to deteriorate. In February 2016, doctors made a choice with Bella and her family to place her on the heart transplant wait list under a status of mid-urgency. In March, Bella’s defibrillator triggered for the first time. She was rushed to Seattle Children’s where she was admitted to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) for the next week.
A month later, Bella showed signs of a stroke and was rushed once again to Seattle Children’s where doctors partnered with the Harborview Medical Center stroke team to remove a blood clot that had led to her stroke. Fortunately for Bella, the fast responses of family, Seattle Children’s, and Harborview Medical Center prevented her stroke from causing permanent damage.
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the annual Seattle Festival of Trees provides a great opportunity for individuals and corporations to help support its primary goal: to raise funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital, benefiting the hospital’s uncompensated care fund and the Autism Center.
Thus far, the following individuals and corporations have committed to the festival at the following sponsorship levels:
EVERGREEN LEVEL ($3,000)
SILVER LEVEL ($10,000)
GOLD LEVEL ($15,000)
PLATINUM LEVEL ($20,000)
MUSEUM OF FLIGHT TREE ($5,000)
For information on the benefits at each sponsorship level and how to become a sponsor, please click on the following link: http://www.seattlefestivaloftrees.com/ways-to-help.html/#sponsor
Seattle Festival of Trees Event Update
We are now just FOUR MONTHS AWAY from the SEATTLE FESTIVAL OF TREES, one of the city’s most spectacular series of holiday events, held each November in the gorgeous Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle.
This annual event includes a gala dinner and auction on November 17, a holiday celebration on November 18, a display of Christmas trees from November 17 through November 28, and a Teddy Bear Suite and Gingerbread House, open from November 23 through December 26.
Celebrating its 41st annual series of events, the primary purpose of the SEATTLE FESTIVAL OF TREES is to raise funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital, with proceeds benefiting the hospital’s uncompensated care fund and the Autism Center.
Holiday events include:
DINNER AND AUCTION
Saturday, November 17 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
To purchase tickets: http://www.seattlefestivaloftrees.com/events.html/#gala
CELEBRATION Storytellers, choirs, cookies, Santa photos, silent auction.
Sunday, November 18 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
TEDDY BEAR SUITE AND GINGERBREAD HOUSE
Friday, November 23 – Wednesday, December 26 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
It's not too early to get involved! You can:
Help Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Autism Center to provide the finest health care to children regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Thank you for your support!
THE FINE ART OF CHRISTMAS TREE DESIGN
One of the most prolific tree designers in the history of the SFOT has been Rosemary Weimer (Rosie to family, friends, and fellow guild members) of Bellingham. She is one of approximately nine members of the Guild who have tirelessly designed and decorated dozens and dozens of beautiful trees over the years. In addition to the 20+ trees on display at the Seattle Fairmont Hotel every year, several trees are also custom-designed for festival patrons who have certain themes or colors they’ve selected for their homes and/or offices.
Rosemary with one of her exquisite creations during setup at the Fairmont.
As a lifetime member of the Festival of Trees Guild, Rosemary has personally been designing and creating trees for over 30 years. Prior to her involvement in the SFOT, she designed Christmas trees for the American Club in Taiwan, while she and her husband lived in Taipei. When they returned to Seattle, a friend invited her to join the Flashman Guild and she became hooked on volunteering for Seattle Children’s.
She estimates that she has created over 100 holiday trees during the course of her involvement with this special fund-raising effort. She recalls one Live Auction in the ‘90’s when one of her designs triggered a bidding war—it eventually sold for $24,000!
While Rosemary began her association with Seattle Children’s as a Christmas tree designer, her involvement became personal when her now 18-year old grandson, Alex, was born with a cleft lip and palate. Alex underwent four surgeries to amend his pallet, lip, nose, and wisdom teeth; and in November, he will have a final surgery to readjust his jaw. Rosemary’s volunteer efforts became a personal mission to help raise money for the Hospital’s Uncompensated Care Fund.
Since Rosemary and her husband moved to Bellingham a few years ago, she eventually found that commuting to Seattle (including a few speeding tickets) was untenable. She made the decision to now stay connected via Face Time, training new volunteers and providing design suggestions for tree themes. It is not difficult to appreciate why Rosemary’s family is so very proud of her 30+ years as a dedicated volunteer. She will forever remain an exemplary role model and treasured friend to members of the Seattle Festival of Trees Guild and the many patrons who purchased one of her beautifully designed Christmas trees.
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