Providing Comfort to Other Families
Brad Houchens said his family was in shock when they learned they’d raised enough money to sponsor a room in the Congenital Heart area at Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Brad and his wife Ashley, of Saint Joseph, understand first-hand what it is like for a family who may have a child in the room newly named after Camron Oakley Houchens.
Their son Camron was born in June 2006 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which essentially means he was born with a two chambered heart as opposed to a four chambered heart. Camron underwent several surgeries over the next six months requiring him to remain hospitalized during much of that time. In December 2006, Camron was transferred to St. Louis in hopes of a heart transplant. When the family learned a transplant was no longer an option for their son, they asked to be brought back to Children’s Hospital of Illinois where Camron had spent much of his life.
Brad and Ashley knew shortly after Camron’s passing on December 29th that they wanted to do something to help other families. “As we went through the process with Camron, we met others who were going through the same thing. We shared the idea of starting a golf outing in Camron’s memory and our family embraced it,” said Brad. Seventeen teams participated in the first outing held in 2007 at Brookhill Golf Course in Rantoul, Illinois. The outing has continued to grow each year. Twenty-eight teams participated in the 2012 outing, breaking a $50,000 milestone, enough to sponsor a room in little Camron’s memory.
“It was never about recognition for our family,” Brad shares. “We know what it’s like to spend many days in a hospital room. The comfort of the room is important to families going through a difficult time. We only hope to help other families going through a similar situation.”
Photo-The Houchen Family (Ashley, Brylee, Bryson & Brad) in front of the room dedicated in Camron's memory.