Heart Brothers

On May 15, 2013 at 12:41AM a lil’ lion roared into this world. We named him Owen Thomas Vatter. On May 15, 2013 at 12:41AM a medivac landed with Evan Podsiad. They were both admitted to CHLA on the same day. These two heart warriors didn’t know that they would soon become best buds! Evan is an incredible 13-year-old boy that has stolen our hearts and has become a huge part of our daily therapy. We talk a lot about the similarities between the boys with Evan. Owen’s blood type is A negative and Evan is A positive. Evan decided that they are blood brothers because opposites attract and the “A” stands for Awesome!

When we were transferred to our new room about 4 weeks ago Owen and Evan became neighbors. We spoke with Evan’s parents a few times in the halls and had an instant connection. Then we met Evan and it sealed the deal. We would knock on our adjoining wall throughout the day and have chats in the halls whenever he went for his daily walks. On June 15th Owen and Evan celebrated their One month-aversary at CHLA together. Evan walked the halls handing out beaded necklaces to the nurses and patients and made sure to stop and give Owen and his giraffe one. Every day Evan stops by at least twice to say hi to Owen. He encourages Owen to breath without the machine and asks a lot of questions about his care. Owen and Evan are helping each other through the long days in the CTICU.

Yesterday, Owen and Evan celebrated their 6 week-aversary together. Evan made Owen a number “6” out of Legos and couldn’t wait to give it to him. He came over twice and both times Owen was busy traveling or recovering. Evan was so bummed that he couldn’t see his buddy. At about 8:30 they were able to be together for their 6 week-adversary photo shoot! We all had a blast! We know that these two are going to be best buds and Evan will teach Owen a lot of cool things. Especially how to put together amazing Lego worlds.

Evan was recently diagnosed as one of one thousand known cases of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C), an extremely rare cardiac disease. He is in the Cardio Thoracic Intensive Care Unit awaiting a heart transplant – the only treatment for his disease – as there is no known cure. ARVD/C causes gradual degeneration of heart muscle and results in weak scar tissue that cannot pump blood as effectively as healthy heart muscle. In short, Evan’s heart is simply giving out. His condition is so severe that he was given priority on the national donors’ list. He was evaluated by the medical staff and is an excellent candidate, both physically and psychologically, for transplant.

Please continue to keep Owen and his buddy Evan in your daily prayers! We have not received any updates on his tests from yesterday and thank you for your continued prayers as we await results.

To learn more about Evan you can visit his website at www.thebeatgoeson4evan.com