Hundreds of children across the country gathered virtually this year for the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Week. Our 2020 Children’s Minnesota Champion, Kellan Whitted, participated by advocating for funding and programming for children’s hospitals and children with special health care needs. From August 10th– August 14th. Kellan, his siblings, Judah Witted and Symphony, and mother Willette Whitted all met with U.S. Senators and Representatives to share his experience at Children’s Minnesota and to discuss why Medicaid and medical education funding is important to the health of kids.
At 20 weeks gestation, Kellan was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect; heterotaxy, a condition where his internal organs were not arranged as expected in the chest and abdomen; and dextrocardia, a condition meaning his heart was pointing toward the right side of his chest instead of to the left.
“Before the age of one Kellan coded three times. He was on total life support, but he pushed through… I am so relieved for Medicaid; without it, I don’t know who would be able to pay for his services,” said Willette when meeting with Congressman Dean Phillips. By sharing Kellan’s story, the Whitted’s helped put a face on the issues that are important to us and many other children across the country. They were wonderful ambassadors for Children’s Minnesota.
Today, Kellan is thriving and recently celebrated his 7th birthday with his twin brother. Kellan often tells his mother that he is “happy to be here” and we, at Children’s Minnesota, are happy to have been a part of Kellan’s journey.
Thank you, Kellan for being our courageous 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion!