Defying all odds: Ollie’s incredible journey
Six years after Oliver Strode was abandoned as an infant at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Ollie is a happy-go-lucky boy who is now in kindergarten and loves Paw Patrol, basketball and his siblings. Best of all, he hasn’t been admitted to the hospital in over a year.
“Ollie has been through so much, yet he still brings light and joy and welcomes everyone in. He’s a pretty special patient,” Mary Bridge Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Nurse, Molly Olsen, says. “We don’t see him as much, but that’s a great thing!”
According to Ollie’s mom, Sarah, he walks with a walker or uses a wheelchair and is very talkative.
“Everyone in the unit gets so excited to see Ollie when he visits. We take him around and make sure he sees everyone,” Mary Bridge Children’s PICU physician, Tito Monge, MD says. “My goal for Ollie’s treatment especially during his long stay on ECMO was for him to be exactly as he is right now — happy and healthy. It’s great to see.”
Between his weekly therapy appointments at Mary Bridge Good Samaritan Children’s Therapy Unit (CTU), specialists and Botox injections for his CP, Ollie is never far from his first home.
“Before Ollie, I had minimal experience with Mary Bridge,” Sarah says. “He’s really the one who made me fall in love with the whole place and everyone there.”
Ollie’s family gives back to his first home in a variety of ways. Sarah has been a hospital volunteer, and Ollie and his siblings delivered flowers to community doorsteps as part of MultiCare’s Hope Grows Here project. And, every year, they help patients celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Caption: Ollie delivering Valentines balloons to patients on February 14, 2021.
“We originally met Ollie around Valentine's Day 2015, and Dave brought him a simple heart balloon. So, every year we bring each patient at Mary Bridge Children’s a heart balloon to tie to their bed or crib,” Sarah explains.
Although Mary Bridge Children’s holds a lot of scary moments and memories for Ollie and his family, it represents their resiliency. It’s also a place where Ollie will always feel safe and loved, Sarah says.
Many of the services Ollie has used and will continue to use throughout his lifetime, such as CTU and orthotics are made possible through community donations. You can make an impact for children like Ollie by making a gift at supportmarybridge.org.
About The Author
Kortney Scroger is a communication specialist for the MultiCare Foundations. She writes stories that connect readers to the impact of giving. You can reach her at [email protected].More stories by this author