• Lending Hearts

Riley's Story

Riley Balcita was a normal, healthy 8-year-old boy on September 28, 2016, who loves school, is a giraffe fanatic, and playing with legos and nerf guns. His pediatrician examined him that day for his annual check-up. She told him, “Everything is great. See you next year!” Little did we know how wrong she was.


The next morning, Riley woke up complaining that he couldn’t feel his leg. His mother chalked it up to sleeping on his leg wrong and jumping all over the driveway he and his brother did the evening before. She reassured him that he was fine and “just needed to walk it off” and put him on the bus. The school called to have him picked up because he could not walk.

Riley was taken to Children’s Urgent Care in Wexford where they took X-rays and diagnosed him with a sprained ankle. He hobbled around on crutches that Mr. H (mom’s fiancé) fitted to his small stature out of his grandmother’s set which earned him the nickname of “Tiny Tim.” After a week, his mom noticed his foot had an odd rash and a marble-sized lump. She took him back to Children’s Urgent Care thinking he had a spider bite. This time, the doctor instructed them to go to the ER at Children’s Hospital remarking, “They will probably laugh at me.” The doctor thought he had a bone infection and would probably need 6 months of IV antibiotics to cure the ailment. Riley’s mom prayed the entire way to Lawrenceville that it wouldn’t be a bone infection. Ever hear the saying, “Be careful of what you wish for because you just might get it.”? God answered her prayer and it wasn’t a bone infection.

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