MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For years, Tom and Tori Ostlund have been supporting the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s hospital by going to an event called Winefest.
What they didn’t know at the time, was their daughter would eventually need help from the hospital they had been supporting.
Their daughter, Summer, is this week’s Kylies Kid.
She’s now a happy and healthy 3-year-old, after doctors saved her life as a baby.
“She brings a lot of love and light to our lives,” said Tori Ostlund, Summer’s mom.
She loves to color and play with her big sister.
“Her and her sister are best friends, they’re inseparable,” said Tom Ostlund, Summer’s dad.
But Summer’s life got off to a scary start.
“We took her home as a newborn and at 2 months old she developed what we thought was a cold,” Tori said.
Doctors noticed Summer was having trouble breathing and sent her to Masonic Children’s Hospital.
“It all happened within a very quick four hours or so,” Tori said.
It turns out Summer’s heart was too big.
“She was in a lot of distress at that time,” Tom said.
The only option was to have a heart transplant.
“It was very, very frightening,” said Tom. “It was nothing you could ever prepare yourself for.”
Three years later and Summer is like any other kid.
“She is a pure 3 1/2 year old,” said Tori. “She loves to color on the walls.”
While she doesn’t remember the surgery, she does know the hospital.
“We want to make sure she knows about it and that she feels special,” said Tori. “That she knows how much of a miracle it is that this all happened.”
This year Tori and Tom are the Honorary Chairs at Winefest, which raises money for the kids here.
“Winefest has always been really special to us,” said Tori.
An event that’s always been significant now holds an even deeper meaning.
“At that time we never could’ve imagined the impact it would have on our lives now,” said Tom. “And how important it would be to us. Any chance to give back to the place that saved summers life.”
Learn more about Winefest, or purchase tickets, by visiting Winefest online.