Saturday's 'Kid Captain': Chloe Dardis

Nov. 20, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa — At 5 months pregnant, Lori Hill learned that her baby had Turner syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality. Babies with Turner syndrome have a small chance of even being born, as 98 percent of these pregnancies result in miscarriage. By week 29 of pregnancy, the baby’s heart rate was dropping and she had stopped growing, which meant that baby Chloe had to be delivered prematurely.

Turner syndrome typically affects the heart and vascular system, stomach, kidneys, and ovaries. It can also result in developmental delays and other problems. While there is no cure for Turner syndrome, there are treatments for the many problems associated with the disorder. When she was 17 months old, Chloe’s parents brought her to UI Children’s Hospital and “we would not go anywhere else,” says Lori.

Chloe has kidney abnormalities, cardiovascular issues, and stomach problems which have required numerous procedures and operations. In addition, she has non-verbal learning disorder and is taking hormone replacement therapy due to early ovarian failure. One of the most common features of Turner syndrome is short stature; so since the age of 1, Chloe has been taking growth hormones daily.

“I tell anyone who’ll listen about the wonderful care she receives, about the smiles from the wonderful, caring nurses. Her doctors are the most valuable, wonderful people to grace this planet,” says Lori. The Child Life Program, which keeps Chloe entertained and focused while she’s undergoing treatment, is especially popular with her daughter.

Chloe’s family appreciates the care she receives at UI Children’s Hospital. “Each and every person we’ve come into contact with is genuine, caring, and, most important, respectful,” says Lori.

Lori notes, “I think the best measure is that Chloe never dreads her visits to Iowa City. She knows she is going to a wonderful hospital with the best specialists that will meet all of her medical and emotional needs.” Adds Lori, “Chloe became part of the UI Children’s Hospital family as a baby, and she will continue to receive her medical care there as we transition from pediatrics to adult care at UI Hospitals and Clinics.”

The eighth grader at Carroll Middle School lives with her mother and stepfather, Dave, and has five older sisters: Liz Danner, 25, Caitlin Dardis, 26, Meghan Dardis, 24, Erin Olsen, 34, and Jamie Kock, 31. Chloe’s father, Jim, with whom she was very close, died in an accident when Chloe was 9.

Chloe never dwells on her hardships and is full of smiles as she focuses on the good things in life. One of these is a love of all things Hawkeye. Chloe is a big fan and has even decorated her bedroom with Hawkeye memorabilia.

Chloe will be there to cheer on her Hawkeyes as they take the field for their final home game of 2009.