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Two young boys at the heart of a popular restaurant

The story behind Olive and Oak restaurant in downtown Webster Groves is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
On the menu, what they call creative American classics and on the walls, treasured memories. Dozens of family pictures.

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. – The secret ingredient of a great restaurant isn't always in the kitchen.

Though most people will tell you that the fare at Olive and Oak in downtown Webster Groves is delicious.

"It's a place where we are going to take great care of you, you're going to eat great food," explained co-owner Greg Ortyl.

On the menu, what they call creative American classics and on the walls, treasured memories. Dozens of family pictures.

"The first six months we were open, I would walk by and kind of put my head down. Otherwise, I'd be in tears, it's so emotional," said Greg's wife Becky.

You see, some of these photos were developed in darkness.

Becky and Greg's son Oakes was born with a congenital heart defect.

By the time he was three months old, he had three open heart surgeries and a double lung transplant. He may have been little but he came to be known as mighty Oakes.

"He gave us hope as much as we tried to give him hope that we were there for him and to keep fighting," Greg told us.

But this was not a fair fight. Oakes was just 15 months old when he died.

About six months later, Oakes' mom Becky was at the Magic House with her daughter when she started talking with one of the other moms.

"We just sat there for the next probably hour or more sharing this painful story that we each had in common," remembered Jenn Hinkle.

Jenn and Mark Hinkle's son Ollie was also born with a congenital heart defect. And a love for life.

"He just had this amazing spirit and energy," said Jenn.

He beat the odds by surviving several surgeries but in his weakened state, he could not beat the flu. He died not long after his first birthday.

What both families quickly learned is that to move forward, you have to give back.

And so recently, volunteers with both the Ollie Hinkle Heart Foundation and the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation were at St. Louis Children's hospital.

Their mission? To provide both financial and emotional support to children and families impacted by Congenital Heart Disease.

When Andrea See had to spend months in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at her son Asah's side, the foundations stepped up and helped her make a mortgage payment.

"These two ladies, the Mighty Oakes and the Ollie Hinkle foundations have touched my family in, you know in our hearts," she told us.

Nearly one in 100 babies are born with a heart defect. And of the 40,000 CHD babies born in the US each year, thousands do not reach their first birthday.

"Every time we award a gift and I get to tell other families 'Stay there at the bedside and shower that baby with love, give them every reason to hope.' It just fills my heart," said Becky as her voice cracked.

Back in Webster Groves, what diners here may not know is that Olive and Oak, stands for Ollie and Oakes.

It turns out there was a little magic in that chance meeting at the Magic House. The two families hit it off and opened the restaurant together.

"There was clearly from the beginning there was something else at work. It was beyond just fate that our families met each other," Greg Ortyl insisted.

And if you just look around here, it's easy to feel at home. Nearly every corner is decorated with a heart and home, after all, is where the heart is.

"It's made Olive and Oak a special place," said Mark Hinkle. "And there's just a feeling and there's just something different about Olive and Oak when you come in."

Keeping the boys at the heart of everything they do. For these two families, it's a recipe for success.

"It's all about love," Becky said.

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