The theme of the 37th Colorado Springs Heart Ball was “The Gift of Time.”

Those words resonated when a smiling, attractive young couple came to the front in Broadmoor West on Feb. 22. Formally attired attendees were enchanted when the couple’s adorable little toddler took over the stage.

A casual onlooker would never have known that both mother and daughter had been given that gift of time.

Hannah Holt said she and husband Chris welcomed little Raegan 2 1/2 years ago. It was an uneventful pregnancy and birth, but Hannah, who works in the medical field, felt something was wrong and pressured doctors to find an answer. Mom knew. At 11 weeks of age, little Raegan had surgery for two congenital heart defects.

Before surgery, Dad Chris bought her a Wonder Woman costume for what might be “her only Halloween.” Today she’s “the Energizer Bunny” says her father, laughing.

Then, last June Hannah, collapsed while walking with a friend. She was rushed to the hospital where she works but couldn’t recognize it or why she was there. She had suffered a stroke. At age 28. She was in the ICU for 26 days and had to relearn how to walk and talk. “Eight months ago, I was signing paperwork for my husband to take me off of life support. I have been given the gift of life,” said Hannah. A complete recovery. “Like mother, like daughter,” said the designated Heart Ball Survivor, smiling through tears.

The Holt family was part of a touching evening that included youngsters from Mended Little Hearts, the group for families whose children are survivors of heart disease.

A special moment recognized Paulette Greenberg for her 37 years of guidance to the Heart Ball that have “directly impacted the heart health of the community.”

More photos: gazette.com/life/around-town

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