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Amazing people with inspiring stories are something we see every day at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. You can meet many of these courageous patients, families and employees right here on our website.
Hunter was delivered on September 4th, by emergency c-section more than three months before his scheduled due date. He was immediately transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for open heart surgery. He weighed just 2 lbs. 6 oz. at birth and has faced many challenges; most significantly breathing problems associated with his prematurity.[read more...]
Hunter has been making steady progress and today is tipping the scales at just over five pounds! Amidst all of this new and scary territory that Hunter’s mother Cassidy is facing, she is also facing it without her husband who was recently been deployed by the military. She is beyond thankful for the support of the staff in the NICU. Although still dependent on a ventilator for breathing and a feeding tube for nutrition, everyone is hopeful that Hunter will have his first trip “home” in early 2012.[hide]
5 year-old Brett, a true miracle child. He has redefined the possibilities for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1, an incurable genetic disease that affects the voluntary muscles of the body. Brett is in the hospital every week for speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy.[read more...]
He had back surgery in the fall 2010 to correct his 80 degree scoliosis and 70 degree kyphosis. He receives daily respiratory therapies through a vest and cough assist machine. Despite the odds, he is an adventurous, bright, and funny little boy.[hide]
Shortly after Nicholas was born, we noticed some difficulty with spitting up. Because his older brother had a history of allergies and reflux, we quickly started an elimination diet. At his two week appointment, which happened to be almost a week late, I was planning to switch his formula to a more expensive, prescription formula with the pediatrician's approval. But she suggested we take him to Nationwide Children's for an abdominal ultrasound "to rule out" a physical problem. It turns out she saved Nicholas' life.[read more...]
After the ultrasound, the doctor sent us to the ER where we were admitted and Nicholas underwent surgery the next day for pyloric stenosis, a condition where his stomach contents are unable to exit the stomach into the intestines and instead are vomited up. He was literally starving to death. Nationwide Children's worked with us in the coming months, as he needed a second dilation of the pylorus and continued to have allergic and reflux symptoms. Now, Nicholas is 21 months old and on a restricted, but nearly normal diet. Nationwide Children's Hospital saved Nicholas' life, and continues to help him grow and thrive.[hide]
Michael was a full-term baby. The day that he was getting released from the hospital, the physician who was seeing the babies that day came in like it was a normal baby. He listened to Michael and said as soon as you guys leave here you need to go Nationwide Children's Hospital to cardiology because it sounds like Michael has a heart murmur.
He said, “I will make an appointment for you.” He came back in and listened to Michael. He said his heart is beating too fast, he might just have a hole in his heart.[read more...]
We went to cardiology and they had told me that Michael had Truncus Arteriosus Type II. They said if we didn't do surgery to fix it then, Michael would not be able to make it. At 2 weeks old Michael was admitted into Children's Hospital because he had fluid around his lungs and couldn't keep anything down. At the age of 3 weeks old Michael had open-heart surgery to fix the truncus arteriosus. He is now 3 months old and is doing a lot better thanks to the cardiology team and Nationwide Children's Hospital. He will have to do more surgery in the future but at least as of right know he is healthy and growing just like a normal baby.[hide]
At 4 months old, Trey started having unusual episodes where he would stop breathing and turn blue. After undergoing testing at Nationwide Children's Hospital, doctors determined Trey was having seizures. Trey’s parents hoped that he would grow out of the seizures and eventually be able to stop taking medications. However, when Trey was 2½, he was waking up during the night crying, but this time his parents didn’t see any evidence of seizure activity. It really worried them that their toddler wasn’t talking much and wasn’t interested in things a typical two year old would enjoy. They returned to the Neurology Clinic at Nationwide Children’s for more testing.[read more...]
Trey was diagnosed with atonic spasms, clusters of seizures lasting 1 to 2 seconds often associated with delays in development. Children actually stop learning new skills when these kinds of seizures begin. In Trey’s case, he reached a point where he was having 3 or 4 clusters of seizures, totaling about fifty per day.
Doctors determined that surgery was Trey’s best option because all of his testing pointed to the source of the seizure activity being in one spot in his brain. He was having a single type of seizure. The mass revealed on Trey’s MRI could be removed safely by doing a surgical resection. Trey’s last seizure was the morning of surgery. Amazingly, after an almost 8 hour surgery, he went home just 3 days later. His recovery was rapid and almost miraculous, thanks to the skill of surgeon, Dr. Ronald Grondin, and the follow-up care he received. This kind of surgery is done in only a handful of children’s hospitals nationwide. Trey’s parents are thrilled by Trey’s incredible transformation.
Today, Trey is a healthy and active 4-year-old with an outgoing personality who enjoys attending preschool.
When Harold and Stacey Sanchez welcomed their third child into their family, they knew that their life would be busy and full, but they did not expect it to be filled with hospital visits. Two months after little Ian was born, a chest x-ray revealed that he had a dilated cardiomyopathy, a serious condition that weakens your heart muscle and causes it to stretch or dilate. Ian’s weakened heart was three times the size it should have been for a child his age because it was working so hard and so ineffectively.
Ian was immediately admitted to Nationwide Children’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, where doctors prescribed an aggressive course of medicines to be taken intravenously.
Dr. Timothy Hoffman, Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program at Nationwide Children’s, said “A lot of children with a weakened heart muscle can experience heart failure, where their heart simply can’t keep up with the demands of their body. In Ian’s case, the medications weren’t enough to save his heart, so he needed a transplant.”
Ian’s mom clearly recalls the day she realized what they needed to do. “I looked at Dr. Hoffman and said, ‘I see it. Ian is not going to get better without a transplant, is he? I don’t want him to have a transplant…..but I want him to live.” Ian’s parents knew it could take months to find a heart for their son, but they knew that a new heart was his only hope to live.
The call from Dr. Hoffman came just six days later – they had a heart for their little boy! They celebrated with the nurses who had come to love Ian, but at the same time their hearts broke for the family who had lost a precious child. Ian was discharged from the hospital just a week after his transplant, and the improvement in him was instant and remarkable. Ian was three months old when he had his heart transplant, and now he visits the hospital every three months for checkups.
Today he is an active, lively 4 year old, and you would never suspect how seriously ill he was just a few short years ago.
Will was born way too early, and his twin brother, Jack, only survived two days. Born at 26 weeks and weighing less than 2 pounds each, their prognosis was grim.
Will’s parents found out halfway through pregnancy that the twin boys had a rare condition called Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. As a result, nutrients were not being evenly distributed between the two and both of their lives were in danger.
The babies were born extremely prematurely; and little Jack only survived two days. Will arrived at Nationwide Children's Hospital’s Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit when he was three weeks old. He weighed less than two pounds, and his tiny lungs were not developed properly, making breathing on his own impossible.
For the next 6 months Will fought against difficult odds. The skilled physicians at Nationwide Children’s treated his lung disease, common in tiny premature babies, with multiple types of oxygen therapy.
Will just celebrated his second birthday, and he truly is a miracle child. To watch him in action – a ball of energy – no one would suspect he had to fight for every breath the first several months of his life. He is outgoing, constantly on the move, and fearless, much to his mother’s dismay at times. He enjoys preschool and he loves to run, jump, and dance when he hears music.
For an expectant mother, the months leading up to the delivery of the baby are filled with joy, excitement and anticipation. But for Brenlee’s mom, that journey was marked by life and death challenges when her unborn daughter was diagnosed with a rare heart condition.
At 18 weeks, an ultrasound detected an abnormality in the Brenlee’s heart where the left side of the heart does not develop normally. Only four in every 10,000 babies are born with this condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Her doctor referred her to specialists at Nationwide Children's Hospital for testing.
Since Brenlee needed specialized care immediately after birth the decision was made to have the first -ever planned birth at Nationwide Children's Hospital with Riverside Hospital staff delivering Brenlee. With more than 20 medical professionals standing at the ready, Jessica gave birth to Brenlee by Caesarean section. Immediately afterward, Brenlee was wheeled across the hall to the Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Suite where she underwent an emergent catheterization procedure and surgical removal of heart tissue.
After Brenlee’s surgery, Jessica was finally able to touch her daughter. She held Brenlee’s hand for a few minutes before she was transported to Riverside Methodist for recovery while her critically ill baby remained in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children’s.
Brenlee recently celebrated her 2nd birthday and she continues to exceed expectations.
Sophie Sheridan was a happy, healthy 8 year-old. While on vacation with her family, she started to experience difficulty breathing, especially lying down. As the Sheridan’s drove home to Columbus from Georgia, Sophie’s condition worsened. Her parents decided rather than waiting to talk to their doctor in the morning, they would take her to Nationwide Children's Hospital’s emergency department.
Sophie had developed cardiomyopathy as a result of myocarditis, a virus that attacked her healthy heart. Normally a virus would result in a cold, or feeling achy and uncomfortable for a few days. But in Sophie’s case, the virus attacked the muscle of her heart which led to severe heart failure.
Within a few hours of her admission to the ER, Sophie was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and within 24 hours, she was on ECMO – special equipment that helped Sophie’s damaged heart rest. Sophie had emergency heart surgery shortly after that, followed by a heart transplant six weeks later. Today, Sophie loves to read and play with her sisters. She checks in with her cardiologists and therapists at Nationwide Children's Hospital on a regular basis, and she is making remarkable progress on all fronts.
As a young, first-time mother, Tara Loy knew that others might think she was overreacting. But she didn’t let that stop her. Something wasn’t right with her little 9-month old, Ramona, and she was determined to find out what was wrong. After a trip to her pediatrician, Ramona was referred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Tara will never forget the doctor telling her that her only child had cancer – neuroblastoma, to be precise – a rare cancer that spreads quickly and is often diagnosed after the cancer has spread.
In Ramona’s case, x-rays revealed the tumor and doctors determined that it was occupying 60 to 70 % of her abdomen and had spread to one of her kidneys.
The staff at Nationwide Children's Hospital moved quickly to help Ramona. She had a difficult surgery to remove part of her adrenal gland, as well as the affected kidney. Complications further magnified the situation when the good kidney wasn’t functioning properly after surgery. As a result, Ramona was put on dialysis for a week. After surgery, Ramona also had IV chemotherapy and radiation.
Today, Ramona is an active 3 year old and shows no signs of the disease, although doctors will continue to monitor her for years to come. She loves the outdoors, enjoys watching movies, craves chocolate milk and loves spending time with her friends at preschool.
On the day this photo was taken, all Jillian’s parents could think about was tomorrow and the surgery that awaited their 14-month-old daughter. When tomorrow finally arrived, skilled surgeons performed a procedure to repair the hole that existed in the wall between the right and left ventricles of Jillian’s heart.
Jillian was born with a condition known as Ventricular Septal Defect. And for the first year of her life, cardiologists from her hometown in Dayton had hoped the tissue would grow together and the hole would close on its own. But when a year had passed and the hole remained, the risk of permanent damage to her heart became too great and Jillian was referred to The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s.
Now with surgery behind her, Jillian can look forward to a normal childhood, a long life, and a heart filled with promise. Today she is a happy, healthy 3 year old who enjoys swinging and playing in her sandbox with her twin sister and big brother.
Life took a radical turn for Erica and her family when Erica’s parents noticed a bulge around her eye. They took her to their local hospital emergency room, where doctors ordered a CT scan. The scan revealed a small mass behind Erica’s eye and her doctor was concerned that the mass might be cancerous.
Erica was immediately referred to Nationwide Children's Hospital, where she received an MRI that revealed a rare but benign tumor behind her eye. Her condition was diagnosed as an orbital lymphatic malformation.
Correcting Erica’s condition with conventional surgery presented far too many risks. It was a virtual certainty that both her eyesight and brain function would be impaired. Dr. William Shiels, Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Nationwide Children's, utilized an innovative ultrasound guided procedure to remove the mass and avoid major surgery. This is one of many minimally invasive procedures pioneered by the team of interventional radiologists at Nationwide Children’s.
This surgery used tiny catheters to destroy the tumor, sparing Erica and her family a long hospital stay, recuperation time and significant expense. The best part is, today, Erica sees perfectly, has no unsightly scars, and no residual effects from her condition or the procedure.
Erin’s mom will never forget the feelings of fear and helplessness as she walked alongside her husband who was carrying their 8-year old daughter, Erin, into Nationwide Children's Hospital’s Emergency Department because she was too weak to walk. The Dunne’s knew there was something gravely wrong with their bright, happy little girl, and they were desperate for answers.
Three weeks before they made the 2-hour drive from their home in Findlay, Ohio, to Children’s, the Dunne’s took Erin to their family doctor because of flu-like symptoms. The doctor diagnosed a viral infection and told them it would run its course. By the third week, Erin had no appetite, no energy, and she had lost 25 pounds, weighing just 40 pounds. Erin’s parents were scared, frustrated, and growing anxious. They insisted on a second opinion, and brought her to Nationwide Children’s.
Within 45 minutes of Erin’s arrival in the Emergency Department, doctors made an initial diagnosis that Erin had Crohn’s disease. Tests confirmed this assessment: a massive lesion found in her colon was causing internal bleeding. She was admitted to the GI unit where she received intravenous steroids and an IV for nutrition to restore her health. Within a few short days, Erin had regained her strength and stamina, and she was able to go home a much healthier child than the one who couldn’t even walk into the hospital on her own.
These days, Erin is an outgoing, curious and mature 12-year old who takes ownership and responsibility for her disease. She enjoys the outdoors, playing soccer and rollerblading.
Little Amy was born at just 26 weeks gestation, and she weighed only 1.75 pounds. She was rushed to Nationwide Children's Hospital shortly after her birth, where she spent the first 99 days of her life in the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Amy was one of the first babies we treated using the Small Baby Guidelines. The specialized care she received from the nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists in the Small Baby Pod was instrumental.
Now, at 4 years old, Amy has an incredible imagination and zest for life. She is a busy preschooler who loves to color, sing and play outside. You would have no idea that four years ago, she was fighting for her life.