How your donation helps Norton Children’s Hospital

Teen runner raises money for hospital that saved his life

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Buy a raffle ticket, and help a child.

The funds raised by the Norton Children’s Hospital BMW and Home Raffle benefit the children’s hospital. WAVE 3 News caught up with one family who understands the difference the hospital makes in the lives of others.

Thirteen-year old Ryan Shaps doesn’t think about the breaths he takes while running. But his mother does.

Ryan runs cross country.

"It’s what I love to do,” he said.

Running is an exercise that tests your lungs.

At just 19 days old, Ryan got very sick and blood in his lungs meant he was taken to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Norton Children’s Hospital.

“They explained to me they were going to put him in a medically-induced coma to rest his lungs,” Shane Shaps said as she recalled those early days with her son. “And so they put him on all these machines to breathe for him.”

This is an extremely dangerous situation for a child.

“A child could die from that,” said Mary Lynne, the Director of Patient Care Services at Norton Children’s Hospital. “So it’s important our doctors recognize it early.”

For about a week, Ryan was in the PICU.

“It was bleak," Shane Shaps said. “We didn’t know if our perfectly healthy son three days ago was going to make it.”

Ryan made it. And now the boy who once needed help to breathe runs for the varsity team at KCD.

“I like getting out here in nature,” he said. “It’s hard, but at the end, you feel really good about yourself because you know what you did was hard.”

For his bar mitzvah project, Ryan decided he would raise money for the PICU at Norton Children’s Hospital. He did it by running the Norton Sports Health 10K and set his goal at $500.

“We passed it within two or three days,” he said. “Mind blown. It was crazy.”

When he crossed the finish line, he had raised $3,500 for a place for which his mother is so grateful.

"I think they gave me back my son,” Shane said.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.