Boy wants to pay back hospital that saved him; Crofton/; Odenton
Capital - 10/9/2018
Noah Haas of Gambrills has endured seven surgeries in his nine years of life and is now raising money to give back to the hospital that saved his life, Children's National in Washington, D.C.
At 20 weeks gestation, Leigh-Ann Haas, Noah's mother, learned her son had a hole in his heart, known as Atrial Septal Defect (ASD).
"I just needed to know, 'Is my baby gonna die,' " Haas said.
A friend put Haas in touch with Tara Floyd and Dr. Mary Donofrio of Children's National. The hospital and its staff have helped Noah and his family throughout their difficult journey.
To show his appreciation, Noah is on a mission to donate to the hospital that saved his life. Last year he saw a poster for the "Race for Every Child," for Children's National.
His mother said he saw the poster and said, "I want to do that."
"I want to raise money for kids who have cancer, heart problems, G-tubes and can't spend the holidays with their parents, or even their birthday," Noah said. "I want to help kids."
Noah was chosen as 'Race Ambassador' this year and his posters line the hallways of Children's National.
"I'm even in the elevators," Noah said.
Noah was selected to give a gift to First Lady Melania Trump when she visited the Healing Garden at Children's National.
Haas said she is grateful to the hospital and wants to help further its mission. The family's fundraising goal is $2,000 this year.
"Without Children's, we wouldn't have Noah," she said. "I want to give back. Every dollar counts."
Noah was born Sept. 9, 2009, weighing five pounds, seven ounces.
"The plan had always been for Noah to stabilize in Children's ICU, go home and then come back in two to three months to fix the hole in his heart," said Haas.
That is not what happened. At five weeks old, Noah had his first open-heart surgery to repair the hole.
"Surgery went well," said Haas. "He was discharged and went home and we were a family again, (with husband Randy Haas and sister Georgia)," Haas said.
When the home health nurse arrived the following morning, she told Haas, "I need you to call 911," after checking Noah's oxygen level.
"It was very traumatic," Haas said. "Noah hadn't even been home 24 hours. This started a cycle of going home, then readmittance (to the hospital). I lost track of how many times."
First it was a blood clot, then two of the pacer wires leading from his heart became infected at different times, then the final pacer wire left a 4-centimeter 'tunnel wound' in Noah's abdomen. Noah had a fifth surgery at 8 months old for a malrotated intestine.
Noah had never been a robust eater, so a gastrointestinal tube was put into his stomach for him to come home (as an infant), Haas said. Doctors removed it in December 2017.
The wound never closed and Noah had surgery Feb. 4.
"I knew something wasn't right," Haas said. "Noah was lethargic. He wasn't eating or drinking and the pain medication wasn't working. I told the doctors and they suggested I wait."
A week later, Noah couldn't stand and wasn't responding to his mother.
"An X-ray showed all the food and drink we had given him (since the surgery) was all leaking into his abdomen," she said.
Noah's seventh surgery kept him in the hospital 10 days. He responded well to this treatment.
Noah doesn't remember the trauma from the first eight month of his life, but he does remember this past winter.
"The hardest part was I was always being in bed," said Noah. "They had a tube in my nose and every time I swallowed it hurt. I spent a couple of days after my first surgery in bed with my dad, then I had to go to the hospital again,
"I didn't want to go. My belly always hurt. I was scared to take the bandage off my belly." Out of school, Noah has been in gymnastics for three years, loves Legos, playing video games and riding his bike. He's excited to begin learning the violin this year at Four Seasons Elementary School.
Noah wants to grow up to be a "cop or a comedian," he said.
Noah still has a microvalve leak in his heart that is getting larger. He'll likely need another surgery.
To register for the race, visit www.raceforeverychilde.org. The deadline to enter or donate is Oct. 14. Donations can be made to Noah's team: "Noah's Arc: Do you need an Arc, I know a guy."
Hopkins blues festival
The Hopkins Blues Festival will be held Saturday, 11 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. at Whites Hall, birthplace of Johns Hopkins. SwampCandy, Ruben Montoya and Bad Influence featuring special guest Mary Shaver and Reggie Wayne Morris will perform. The festival will be followed by Whites Hall's regular Beer Garden from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring The RagingImmortals unplugged.
Cost is $25. Parking is free. Whites Hall is at 2173 Johns Hopkins Road in Gambrills. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit effort to save and restore Whites Hall.
The Fourth Annual Chili Cook-Off at Crofton Farmers Market is Oct. 17, 4:30-7 p.m. Two awards will be given: A judged Cook-Off Champion and People's Choice Champion. Attendees can make a $5 donation or bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Crofton Christian Caring Council's Food Pantry to try each chili and submit their ballot.
Judging will be conducted at 6 p.m. with awards given at 6:45 p.m. Participation is free. Contestants may reserve their spot by registering before Oct. 15 at https://croftonchamber.com/events. The Crofton Farmers Market is held at Crofton Country Club, 1691 Crofton Parkway.
Melissa Driscoll Krol can be reached at email@example.com and on Facebook at Around Crofton.
Credit: Melissa Driscoll Krol - Melissa Driscoll Krol can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook at Around Crofton.
Caption: Noah Haas of Gambrills is raising money for Children's National, the hospital that saved the 9-year-old's life.
Melissa Driscoll Krol / Correspondent