Patient Stories :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

stay connected

 

become a children's champions

You can make a difference by joining now.
Join Now »

Patient Stories

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.

Give Now

Meet Blake

Cancer –  Neuroblastoma

The most horrible words Jen and Eric ever heard were, “I’m sorry, your son has cancer,” and the most beautiful sound they ever heard was the ringing of the “Victory Bell.” The time between the two was a one-year journey filled with challenges and hope. 

  [read more...]

Blake was 10 months old when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Because his cancer had spread throughout his body, it was initially unsafe for him to have surgery to remove the tumor. Yet, if the tumor was not removed, Blake’s airway could stop functioning. In fact, it was something of a miracle that he was able to breathe given the fact that the tumor had pushed his airway out of place. 
 
The challenges Blake faced when he was diagnosed with cancer could have seemed insurmountable, but Blake, his family, and his team of doctors and nurses at Nationwide Children's Hospital were up for the fight. Blake’s chemotherapy treatments began immediately.
 
And then a new challenge arose for Blake’s little lungs. He developed pneumonia and needed specialized treatment. Because protocol required a six-week delay for his tumor removal, a decision was made to use the time to give Blake another round of chemotherapy in an effort to shrink the tumor. 
 
Once again, hope would emerge during the hardest of times. The last round of chemotherapy shrunk the tumor to half of its original size. At last, the long awaited day arrived when Blake was cleared for surgery. 
 
While the months leading up to Blake’s surgery were long and arduous, the 9-hour procedure to remove most of his tumor must have seemed just as long to Blake’s family. The surgery was complicated, but doctors Denis R. King and Charles A. Elmaraghy teamed up to ensure its success.

After the surgery, Blake’s family was relieved to have that big day behind them; but Blake still had another big challenge to face. Because his vocal cord was paralyzed, there was only a 5% chance he would be able to eat, breath and talk normally. Once again, hope would prevail and Blake has not had difficulty with any of these things. 
 
Today, when you see the beautiful smile on 6-year-old Blake’s face, it is hard to imagine the journey he has been on. He was only a baby when he was diagnosed with a complicated, life-limiting cancer. At the age of two, after months of treatment, surgery and recovery, Blake participated in a very important tradition at Nationwide Children's Hospital. He rang the “Victory Bell” to commemorate his triumph over cancer.  
  [hide]

Meet Brady

Cancer, Synovial Sarcoma

Brady’s life changed forever when an emergency room visit turned into a battle against cancer. What started as a growth under his tongue turned into a same day biopsy resulting in a diagnosis of Synovial Sarcoma. A synovial sarcoma is a rare form of cancer which usually occurs near to the joints of the arm, neck or leg. Brady was by far the youngest and only the 14th reported case ever on the tongue.

  [read more...]

Ten days later Brady underwent a 10-hour surgery when the medical team at Nationwide Children’s had to remove the front two-thirds of his tongue and then "rebuild" it using a tissue graft from his left forearm. At the time of surgery it was hard to determine how extensive his recovery would be, specifically with speech and tongue movement required for eating. Brady beat the odds and made a remarkable recovery. He was talking by two weeks after the surgery. Now it is difficult to tell that he even has a "new tongue." Since surgery he has underwent six rounds of chemotherapy under the care of Dr. Cripe, Dr. Woods and the entire Hematology/Oncology team. Brady is a happy boy who has follow-up visits.

  [hide]

Meet Camdon

22q Deletion Syndrome
Camdon’s mom’s pregnancy was close to perfect and they were so excited for the arrival of their baby boy. Their beautiful baby boy arrived, but just a few hours after he was born, a post-partum nurse noticed he looked blue. Camdon was immediately sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the medical team told his mom the heart-breaking news that something was wrong with his heart and the transport team was on their way to take him to Nationwide Children’s.

  [read more...]

The next day, Camdon was diagnosed with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. Within a week he was also diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome, also known as 22q deletion syndrome. Camdon’s first month of life Nationwide Children’s was home. Since then, he's been readmitted many times and has spent nearly five months on the cardiac floor undergoing two open heart surgeries and will need more as he grows. During a stay at the hospital he also suffered and survived a stroke. While at Nationwide Children’s he visits nine specialists and three therapists.  Camdon is a fighter and in the midst of his hardships, is a silly, happy, feisty little boy. His biggest source of entertainment is his sister who can make him laugh like no other. Camdon has been through so much already and unfortunately has a long journey ahead.

  [hide]

Meet Antionette

Cancer, Sickle Cell Disease
As a baby Antionette and her family were faced with the realization that she had Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell Disease is when blood cells are shaped like a ‘sickle’ causing a lot of daily pain. She has endured countless trips to Nationwide Children’s and has been admitted to the hospital ten times, most recently for almost a month sick with pneumonia.

  [read more...]

A bone marrow transplant typically is a cure for Sickle Cell Disease patients, but you need full siblings for a perfect match. That is not an option for Antionette at this time as she does not have full siblings. Antionette is a young girl who will continue to need daily medication to treat the disease. But she still finds time to do her favorite things draw, make jewelry, play basketball and roller skate!

  [hide]

Meet Faith

Cancer - Cerebral Medullablastoma (Brain Tumor)
Persistent cold and flu symptoms had Faith and her parents making frequent trips to the doctor. After three weeks of various diagnosis and multiple medications, her parents brought her to the hospital where she ended up spending a week undergoing multiple tests, however the tests came back inconclusive. Faith went home and was feeling better for a couple weeks, but then started falling down and bruising very easily and complaining of headaches.

  [read more...]

One day she collapsed at her babysitter’s home and was rushed back to the hospital where an MRI revealed a golf ball sized tumor on her cerebellum. Doctors had a difficult time finding the words to share this tragic news with Faith’s family. Faith started having seizures and was immediately moved to the intensive care unit. Faith underwent surgery to remove the entire tumor and was moved to the Neurology floor where she spent two weeks recovering. Strength and courage were key in getting Faith through another two weeks on the Rehabilitation floor undergoing extensive therapy. She made it home and the following week started chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation five days a week. Faith finished radiation and had a six week break. Then once a month she was admitted to Nationwide Children’s for intense chemotherapy to fight the cancer. Faith is thrilled to be completing her treatment and having more time to just to be a kid and play with her friends and family.

  [hide]

Meet Ian

Cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Playing hard and aches and pains are normal for young boys. However, Ian had a backache that wouldn’t go away. When a family trip to the circus turned bad when Ian could barely sit in the seat and on the ride home was in tears, his family knew something was not right. His mom took him to his family doctor in Lancaster who thought the pain in his lower back without other symptoms was strange. So to rule out possible diagnoses his family doctor sent Ian to Fairfield Medical Center for an X-ray and blood draw.

  [read more...]

The tests showed Ian's platelets were low and it was recommended they go to Nationwide Children’s right away. By late that night Ian and his parents learned that Ian had leukemia. Ian was immediately admitted to Nationwide Children’s and had surgery and began chemotherapy the very next day. Nationwide Children’s became home for Ian for the next month and a half, undergoing chemotherapy, a lumbar puncture, bone marrow biopsy. Dr. Terry Guinipero and the medical team shared with Ian the AML diagnosis and explained it’s very aggressive, and the prognosis was not as good as for ALL. After hearing the news and the treatment plans, Ian being the fighter that he is said, "I hope it's AML, because then we can just get it over faster, even if it's harder." The weeks ahead were grueling with four rounds of chemotherapy and four to six week stays in the hospital with each round, only leaving the hospital for a few days between each. The beginning of the third round proved exceptionally hard on Ian’s young body as his heart reacted badly to the strong chemo, his blood pressure dropped repeatedly, and he wound up in the ICU for almost a week. That same round, an infection landed Ian back in the ICU with sepsis. The fourth round went a little more smoothly and after countless blood transfusions, antibiotics, fevers, medications, Ian was able to go home. After more blood tests, a biopsy, EKG, Echocardiogram, and his central line removed, Ian was declared cancer free! Ian now tries to rediscover the life of a young boy, and recalls how he felt in the midst of treatment, "I wish we didn't have to be here, but if we do, this is a really great place and everybody is so nice."

  [hide]

Meet Joshua

Prematurity
Joshua was born almost four months early and weighed just 1lb 11oz and was 12 1/4 inches long. Early on in his second day of life he made the trip across town to Nationwide Children’s to treat a perforation in his intestines. Since then, Joshua has battled issues with his intestines, heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and eyes. He has had three surgeries and has overcome multiple infections. Breathing has been a struggle for Joshua since day one; he currently uses a ventilator to support his lungs.

  [read more...]

Joshua’s family looks to the nurses at Nationwide Children’s for advocacy and so much more – “They have been loving and gentle in their care. They make the experience of life with a child in the hospital more bearable,” says Joshua’s mother. He also has two brothers and a sister at home, anxiously waiting for the day that their family is all together in one place… at home.

  [hide]

Meet Mikequan

Rehabilitation
Mikequan was hit by a car and sustained a brain injury; his future changed in one moment.

  [read more...]

After the car accident, Mikequan was admitted to Nationwide Children’s where he worked with physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreation therapy, speech therapy and massage therapy. He was discharged home late this fall, but will continue to visit Nationwide Children’s for outpatient therapy.

  [hide]

Meet Zoni

Burn Victim
When Zoni was three years old, what was supposed to be a fun camping vacation to Michigan soon turned into a trip they would never forget. Zoni and her family were around the camp fire when her parents stepped away for just one minute to grab dinner preparations.

  [read more...]

Zoni turned too quickly to look at her brother and lost balance, then fell into the fire. She landed on her backside and suffered major burns on her legs, bottom and one of her arms. She was stabilized in Michigan then transported to Nationwide Children’s where she was an inpatient for 18 days. Now, she wears compression garments and will need to wear them for about a year. You’d never know from interacting with her that she had this experience – she’s a rambunctious, talkative, very spirited little girl. She recently wore her very own doctor uniform to her appointment at the Burn Center at Nationwide Children’s – just to keep everyone laughing and entertained. 

  [hide]

Meet Tyler

Rehabilitation
Tyler has a brain injury, from a motor vehicle accident. He is receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreation therapy, speech therapy and massage therapy.

  [read more...]

But beyond his hard work in the Rehabilitation gym, Tyler also works tirelessly with a school teacher while at Nationwide Children’s. His goal is to go back to high school and graduate.

  [hide]

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000