‘Walk for Wheezy’ on Feb. 23

“Walk for Wheezy” 2019-2020 board members include Bailey Moses (front, from left), Anna-Bel Chambers, Kara Crabbe, Zoe Boshears, Brandy Vines; Darcy Eddington (back), Sarah Owen, Leah Conley and Brianna Cook. (Collin Hyder photo)

In memory of Eloise “Wheezy” Ann Owen, the Fifth Annual “Walk for Wheezy” will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Cabot Panther Stadium in Cabot.

Eloise was born with congenital heart disease and spent many hours at Arkansas Children’s Hospital before passing away in 2016. All of the money raised goes to the ACH Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit to provide treatment for children with heart diseases. ACH is the ONLY comprehensive pediatric heart care center in Arkansas. 

In past years, Walk for Wheezy has raised more than $180,000 and is one of the top fundraisers for the CVICU at ACH.

Walk for Wheezy is a 501c3 nonprofit that was created with the sole purpose of raising funds and awareness for Arkansas Children’s Hospital during a community-wide event all in memory of Eloise. 

“Wheezy” was born June 15, 2006, and shortly after birth, it was discovered that she was born with a severe congenital heart defect called HypoPlastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). This is when the left ventricle of the heart never fully forms. After a very difficult and life-threatening first couple of weeks of life, she had her first open-heart surgery at the age of 13 days. 

Eloise had three more open-heart surgeries over the next five years that completed the expected treatment plan until time for a full heart transplant. On Jan. 7, 2016, she suffered an extreme series of pulmonary hemorrhages that ultimately led to the end of her life.

Because Walk for Wheezy is a nonprofit organization, donations are tax deductible. To donate, become a sponsor or for more information, visit walkforwheezy.com.