Rivers DeLisle

Rivers DeLisle is a busy 10-year-old boy in third grade at Winstead Elementary. There he excels at building his sign language skills, enjoys music therapy and physical education (PE). Last school year Rivers was awarded the 2nd grade boy PE award for his efforts, enthusiasm and assistance in cleaning up after class.

Rivers stays very active outside of school. He enjoys swimming with the Nashville Dolphins, and this season will be joining the Challenger Baseball team through Franklin Baseball Club. In addition to all of this, Rivers particularly enjoys taking riding lessons at Saddle Up! Rivers began riding at Saddle Up! 5 years ago, where he has increased his physical strength, gained confidence and has been given the opportunity to engage with other peers. Rivers has a special bond with a horse named Jelly Bean. When not actively engaged in a sport Rivers is usually dancing or singing his way through life.

Rivers and Jelly Bean were featured on News Channel 5 after being chosen as the Ambassador for Monroe Carell Jr. Hospital at Vanderbilt for the 2023 Iroquois Steeplechase. This was a special honor for Rivers as it highlighted the hospital that saved his life as an infant. You can see that story here: Rivers was born with a rare heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot. In addition to this medical condition requiring multiple open heart surgeries, he has experienced cardiac arrest, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a collapsed artery, feeding support for seven years, multiple pneumonias, and hearing loss. While Rivers has had a complex medical history, everyone can see he is currently physically thriving.

“He impacts the lives of all those who know him. His outgoing nature and affection quickly break down the walls that divide our special needs friends from the community”, said Rivers’ mom, Jessica.