Special Delivery Brings Smiles At CHI St. Alexius Health
December 21, 2022 | View PDF
Williston, ND - Just in time for Christmas, toys, games, gift cards and more will bring smiles to the faces of children and families at CHI St. Alexius Health – thanks to Chloe’s Hearts, Inc. “It’s such an unexpected delight for our patients and families to be remembered in this way during the holiday season,” Tiffany Graves, CHI St. Alexius Health ICU and medical/surgical Manager Williston said. “We are very grateful that Chloe’s Hearts has selected our hospital for their donations again this year.”
This nonprofit organization was started by Chloe Lesmeister, a young girl who had a dream to help kids after experiencing her own medical journey. As a newborn, Chloe was life-flighted from Bismarck, ND, to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis because her pulmonary artery and aorta formed backwards (called transposition of the great arteries).
By age 7, Chloe had endured several surgeries and was diagnosed with some mild brain damage that affected her ability to follow directions with many steps. Knowing first-hand that being in the hospital can be sad and scary for children, Chloe decided she wanted to do something for other kids.
“She said, ‘I want to give every kid in the hospital a gift. I have $60,’” recalled her mother, Julie Lesmeister. “I said, okay, how can we make this happen?” That year, when Chloe was just 8 years old, they held bake sales and fundraisers. With the $1,700 collected, they bought gifts to donate to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Idaho.
Chloe is now 14 and the organization has grown right along with her. This year they will give donations to Duke University’s cardiology program, and hospitals in Idaho and Springfield, MO, as well as St. Alexius Health.
“The joy on the faces of the children, and their parents, when they receive these gifts is so heartwarming. It’s truly the spirit of the season,” Lorrie Antos, Patient Care Services interim president and vice president said.