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  • Cats recognize Asher Woods, the "Lift Them Up" Kid for Kentucky v Northern Illinois

    A Lift Them Up kid is recognized at every Kentucky Football home game. The program is designed to uplift the spirits of patients and families that UK Health Care's Kentucky Children's Hospital and share their incredible stories. Each Lift Them Up kid leads the team down the Cat Walk Saturday in a custom-built pushcart, and during the week the kids and their families hang out with the team, attend practices, tour locker rooms, and even break huddles. Saturday Kentucky will be recognizing Asher Woods.

    Asher was born with a condition called Congenital Aortic Valve Stenosis, diagnosed two days after his birth. Since his diagnosis, he has been treated at UK HealthCare's Kentucky Children's Hospital. His condition is an uncommon condition that blocks blood flow between different parts of the heart, which can lead to chest pain, fainting, heart failure and even sudden death. It affects approximately 6 of everyone 1000 babies born.

    Now 13 years old, Asher underwent open heart surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital this past April in an operation called a Supported Ross Procedure. It involved his surgical team replacing his aortic valve with his own pulmonary valve, then using a donor or valve to replace his pulmonary valve. He is made a full recovery and can get back to the things he loves doing most, like playing soccer, video games, and Lego.

    Beginning in 2018, this program was created through a joint effort between UK Athletics, UK Health Care, the UK College of Engineering, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky, with players like Luke Fortner, former Kentucky offense of lineman and current Jacksonville Jaguars. Fortner played a large role in helping design the pushcart used to lead the Lift Them Up kid.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. dan_bgblue's Avatar
      dan_bgblue -
      I remember the start of the program, as the engineering department students built the special UK themed wheel chair for the child to ride in during the Cat Walk. The TV coverage for the first ride in the chair made a big deal out of the chair, and the giving nature of the team and the school.