Margo and Olaf Haroldson have been with UPMC since 2001 and 2002. They are a family of seven and are very thankful for the help of the UPMC Horizon Employee Contribution Fund. Recently, their youngest child, William, was born in September of 2021. He has the congenital heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot. William had a hole in his ventricle wall with a small pulmonary valve. He was slated for surgery in March (6 months after birth) since he was doing very well. On December 2, 2021, Margo returned to work after her 12-week maternity leave. On that very same day, Olaf woke up with fever and other symptoms leading to testing positive for Covid-19. From the moment of his test, he isolated from the family in a separate house until December 11. Five days after Olaf’s positive test, two more of the Haroldson’s children tested positive, one of whom was William. A short while later, William started to have trouble with his oxygen levels, leading to an episode and eventually a trip to the local emergency room at UPMC Horizon – Shenango Valley. From there, he was flown to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
After careful and excellent care and observation, it was decided on December 10, 2023 that William required open heart surgery as soon as possible, three months earlier than planned. Margo and William were in Children’s Hospital from December 8 until December 21, spending the majority of that time in isolation due to William’s positive Covid status. Margo was the sole person allowed to be with William while in isolation, and Olaf could not visit until the last few days.
Throughout this ordeal, Margo exhausted her maternity leave, paid time off and medical leave time. The majority of her time off caring for William from the beginning of December and half of January was without pay. Margo and Olaf share:
“We were blessed to have help from many organizations, friends and family which helped us tremendously. This includes the UPMC Horizon Foundation’s Employee Contribution Fund. The Fund and its committee kindly provided financial assistance to help with all of the day-to-day needs of a family of seven, meal costs and transportation costs from Clark, PA to Children’s Hospital when Olaf was finally able to be with Margo and William. We are eternally grateful. We are proud of the fact we have contributed to this fund for years, as it is there for employees in need. We strongly recommend participating in such an amazing program available within our organization.”