Hallmark’s Nikki DeLoach Provides Update From Hospital on Son’s Condition

Nikki DeLoach

Heavy/Getty Hallmark star Nikki DeLoach has provided an update on her son's health

Longtime Hallmark star Nikki DeLoach is breathing a sigh of relief after the latest round of tests for her youngest son, Bennett, who was born with life-threatening congenital heart defects (CHDs) in 2017. The actress and screenwriter shared an Instagram selfie from the hospital on May 26, 2023, in which she and her five-year-old gave the thumbs up, indicating that test results showed he’s doing well.

“All smiles and a heart full of gratitude for a good heart checkup today at our home away from home @childrensla,” she captioned the post, which included a series of photos from their day at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). “I’m so grateful for this hospital. For every surgeon, doctor, nurse, scientist, fellow, technician and staff member. Thank you so much Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for all you do to save the lives of our children. I love you so very much.”

Closely monitoring Bennett’s health and serving as a vocal supporter of CHLA have both become priorities for DeLoach in light of her family’s harrowing journey since Bennett’s birth, which has included three heart surgeries, per Los Angeles Confidental. Here’s what you need to know:

Hallmark Stars Celebrate Encouraging Update From Nikki DeLoach

When DeLoach was five months pregnant with Bennett, her second son with husband Ryan Goodell, they were told the baby had multiple CHDs and were not sure he would survive. In November 2017, after his September birth, she told People that tests had shown he had “a ventricular septal defect (or VSD), which is a small hole in his heart, his aorta was narrow, his coronary artery would have to be moved, and he had a transposition of his great arteries, which meant the two arteries that go into his heart were going into the wrong chambers.”

Just five days after Bennett’s birth, DeLoach told People, he underwent open-heart surgery at CHLA. She said their cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Vaughn Starnes, “did the impossible by successfully completing procedures that most kids do not survive.”

Though Bennett is doing well, DeLoach shared a post in February in which she revealed her son needs to be closely monitored and will likely need more surgery in the future.

“Surgery is often not a cure for CHDs,” she wrote. “Many individuals with CHDs require additional operation(s) and/or medications as adults.”

When one of her Instagram followers thanked her for sharing about their family’s journey and said that her own daughter had undergone multiple harrowing surgeries for CHDs — including having her pulmonary valve replaced via a catheter through her groin area — DeLoach revealed her son will require a similar procedure in the future, too.

She wrote, “I’ve been praying for that (particular surgery) because Benny will need a new piece of gortex in his pulmonary and I really hope they can do it via cath. We are not alone and I’m so grateful for that. It’s an honor to walk alongside you.”

In light of DeLoach’s latest update, multiple past and present Hallmark colleagues celebrated her son’s good test results in the comment section of her post.

Kimberley Sustad commented, “Ooooohhhhheeeeeee I love him❤️❤️❤️❤️” and Benjamin Ayres wrote, “❤️❤️Benny👏”

DeLoach’s Hallmark writing partner, Megan McNulty, wrote, “And we love you guys🥰🥰The biggest praises🙌🏼🙌🏼 #bravebenny and warrior mama♥️♥️”

Former Hallmark star Jen Lilley wrote, “All the feels. Praise Jesus for this epic team and you’re little warrior ❤️🙌🙌🙌”

Nikki DeLoach Recruited Justin Timberlake to Help Raise Funds for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

Nikki DeLoach, Justin Timberlake

GettyNikki DeLoach and Justin Timberlake at a fundraise for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in October 2022

DeLoach is so grateful for CHLA’s help in saving Bennett’s life that she’s become an ardent supporter of the hospital. She serves as president of the foundation’s board of trustees and helped raise $5.5 million for CHLA at an October 2022 fundraiser, per the Hollywood Reporter, at which she got her longtime friend Justin Timberlake to be the headline performer.

“I just called him and asked and he said yes,” she told the outlet, sharing that they’ve been close for over 30 years, since they met on the set of “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

“We met at the casting camp before we were ever on the show,” she continued. “It was 24 of us at the camp and we were the first to meet each other. We instantly became best buddies, like brother and sister, and we have been brother and sister ever since. His mother has been like a second mother to me, I’ve lived with her for chunks of time in my life. We’re just chosen family and I’m so honored because he’s always been there any time I’ve needed him and I’ve always been there when he needed me.”

During his performance, he called DeLoach his “sister from another mister,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I’m humbled and I’m honored to be here tonight,” Timberlake told the sold-out crowd of 1,300. “And if you guys ever want me back to sing for my supper, you know how to get me — just call Nikki.”

On May 28, DeLoach uploaded a video to her Instagram Stories of Bennett jumping and playing in a hallway at the hospital while they waited for test results.

“We play as we wait,” she wrote over the video. “This is one of the many beautiful and important aspects of choosing to seek care at a children’s hospital instead of an adult hospital for your kiddo…they let kids be kids.”

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Joseph Costa
Joseph Costa
3 months ago

GOD bless the child and may he and his family get to put his medical issues to rest.