Two-time heart surgery patient now Children's Miracle Network Ambassador

Two-time heart surgery patient now Children's Miracle Network Ambassador

- Olivia Harvey remembers "Charlie," the cardiac doll.  The one with the scars.

"They'd say okay, this is where the IV is going to be placed,” she says. “This is where the mask is going to be placed..."

Olivia was 9 back then. Facing her second open heart surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

"They just ask you questions like, 'Are you ready for this? Are you excited? Are you nervous? Are you scared,” Harvey remembers.

Children's Child Life Specialist Stephanie Dill was asking the questions, trying to help Olivia get ready to face this next hard thing in her life.

"I remember how scared she was,” Dill says. “To have to be in this role. And going back again for surgery, and helping her find that control. That's a big part of what Child Life does in the hospital. Is these kids are so out of control, how can we help them have more control?"

So, they’d sit and talk.

"Would we would play a lot of games on the iPad,” says Dill. “We would sing Justin Beiber."

"She helped me just calm myself,” says Olivia.  “She helped relax me. She said it would be all right,"

Olivia survived some serious complications, but it was all right.

Now 13, she only has to come back to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston once a year for a checkup.  But, even after everything, Olivia says she's never been afraid of this place.  Because of the people here.

"The doctors, the doctors and the nurses,” she says. “I just feel like you can talk to them."

But no one has been more a part of Olivia's journey at Children's than Stephanie.

We first introduced to them three years ago, when Olivia -- fresh out of her second heart surgery - nominated Stephanie for a "Spirit of the Olympian" Bead of Courage -- for helping her find courage.

"She's made me stronger, I think,” says Olivia.  “She's definitely helped me in my challenges."

Now, it's Olivia Harvey's turn to be in the spotlight.  She's the new 2016-17 Georgia Champion Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

"Yeah, it's a big deal,” says Olivia.  “I'm honored to represent the thousands of other kids who are part of CHOA."

For Olivia, this is a way to say "thank you," to Stephanie and everyone at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. 

"They help kids,” Olivia says.  “They just make them feel better, they cure them, hopefully."


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