“Our youngest son, Owen Drollette, was born on October 23rd, 2020. We knew long before his birth that he would be a heart warrior. At twenty weeks pregnant, we found out that Owen has several congenital heart defects, Heterotaxy, which means some of his organs are in the wrong place or shifted, and Polysplenia, which means he has multiple spleens. We picked his name before we found out all of his diagnoses, but ironically, we soon found out that Owen means "young warrior," and that's precisely what he is! We will do everything we can to fight with him and for him!
At 4 days old, Owen underwent his first of three major open-heart surgeries, which was quickly followed by two additional heart procedures, and two surgeries for his stomach to address his Heterotaxy. In his five short months of life, Owen has already undergone three major surgeries and two procedures, and his second major open-heart surgery will occur in a short time between the ages of six and nine months. To say Owen and our family have been through a lot in a few short months is an understatement. However, we were recently blessed; Owen just got home from John's Hopkins for the first time on March 25th. After spending the first 153 days of his life in the hospital, we finally have our whole family together for the first time since Owen's birthday. We aren't yet sure of the exact date for his next open heart surgery, but we know that it will be in the next couple of months, at which point Owen will begin his second hospital stay. Unfortunately, there are too many variables to fully understand how long Owen will need to be in the hospital afterward.
Our young heart warrior has a long road ahead of him. He has been such a resilient fighter during his first 5 months of life and everything he's been through. There's no doubt Owens condition has changed our everyday lives entirely. Caroline, his mother, has been by his side every day to fight with him. Unfortunately, she hasn't worked since October and probably won't for a long time. While Caroline was with Owen at John's Hopkins, I would work Monday through Friday and take care of our oldest son Mason who is six years old. On the weekends, we would switch, and I would go to the hospital so Caroline could come home to rest and spend time with Mason.
As of me writing this on April 1st, we have been home with Owen for exactly 1 week. Our oldest, Mason, finally got to meet and hold his little brother 154 days after he was born. We feel very fortunate to be home as several times it was pushed back due to unforeseen circumstances. There was also a lot of talk of Owen needing to stay until after his second heart surgery. Thankfully Owen has been resilient enough to allow us to all be together for a short time before his next surgery. However, even at home, it's still very stressful; it's a 24-hour schedule caring for our son, administering eleven different medications twenty-one separate times throughout the day. We also have to ensure he is on oxygen 24-hours a day while adding a unique milk/formula mixture to his feed bag every four hours. The feed bag supplies a G-Tube that comes out of his belly placed during his stomach surgery three months ago.
We are overwhelmed and thankful for all the love we have received from our family, friends, and caring strangers that have heard about Owen. We are honored that Owen has been selected by the Tangier Classic to be their 2021 beneficiary. This means so much to our family and gives us a little peace of mind. Unfortunately, due to the many unpredictable heart defects and other problems Owen has encountered, we never know what will or won't be covered by our insurance. This, combined with covering co-pays, gas, bridge tolls, parking, food expenses, etc., on a single income, has been a stressful burden on our family. We know that we'll receive many more similar bills in the coming months, with Owen's second open-heart surgery and hospital stay quickly approaching. However, we find comfort knowing that we belong to such a caring community, and we feel blessed knowing that so many hearts are willing to fight for one. Thank you for all of your support!”
Young Owen and his family have been through more in 5 months than most go through in an entire lifetime.
Owen's parents, Scott Drollette and Caroline McPhail, grew up locally and currently live in Delmar.
Scott currently works for the local business, Taylor Termite and Pest Control. Caroline unfortunately had to take a leave of absence for an undetermined amount of time to care for their newborn son, Owen. We ask that anyone who is able to, please donate or become a sponsor of this great event to support an even greater cause!
You can read more about Owen and his story above.
Please consider sponsoring The Tangier Classic to help this young man and his family!