Our Stories

Every day, children’s hospitals help make moments possible. From providing access to the comprehensive care that children need to grow up to supporting children, teens, and their families with specialized treatment for some of the most complex illnesses. Discover more about the moments made possible by children’s hospital through patient stories from around the country.

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Joseph’s Journey

The advanced, specialized care that children’s hospitals provide make moments – like Joseph beating pediatric brain cancer – possible.

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Daniella’s Drive

With care delivered by specially trained pediatric clinicians, in environments designed just for children, children’s hospitals help children and teens – like Daniella – navigate complex medical conditions.

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Featured Story

Critical care positions Angelina for a bright future

Angelina was enjoying another day of fourth grade in January 2023 when she suddenly collapsed because of ventricular fibrillation (VF), a life-threatening arrhythmia that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. School nurses quickly intervened with CPR, paramedics defibrillated her heart, and she was later flown to Children’s Nebraska’s Criss Heart Center for surgery. There, a cardiothoracic surgeon placed an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in Angelina’s chest. Her ICD tracks and analyzes her heart rhythm and will deliver a shock to her heart if she ever experiences an irregular, life-threatening arrhythmia again. Because of the quick response from her school nurses, paramedics and the expert team at Children’s, Angelina is healthy and back in school. Her school also achieved a Heart Safe School designation through the hospital’s Project ADAM program in May 2023, ensuring advanced preparedness for an unexpected cardiac event with automated external defibrillator (AED) and CPR training and a practiced response plan that improves safety for students, staff and community visitors alike. Now 10 years old, Angelina has since returned to her active lifestyle, playing the violin and piano and participating in basketball, volleyball and dance. She and her family feel supported and prepared for her future thanks to the care Children’s delivered.

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Comprehensive therapy paves Rahul’s road to recovery

Rahul was preparing to enter his senior year of high school when a serious motorcycle accident dramatically changed his life. Rahul sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and was quickly brought to Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Unit for comprehensive rehabilitation. When he first arrived, he was in a disorder of consciousness, preventing him from fully responding to his environment. Over time, he rebuilt his strength and cognition with intensive physical, occupational, speech, and feeding therapies. After Rahul regained his ability to talk, he began strength and core exercises that helped him walk and eventually jog again. Once he was medically stable and independently walking, he transitioned to Blythedale’s Day Hospital program, allowing him to receive care from the comfort of his home. Rahul also attended Blythedale’s onsite public school, so he could continue his education while working with therapists between classes. With the specialized care to improve his cognitive and physical abilities, Rahul made tremendous progress, and transitioned back to his regular high school where he graduated last year. 

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Lively and vibrant thanks to supportive care team

When Rai was born, her parents immediately noticed something was wrong. Rai was born with facial deformities and a notch in her right eyelid, and she was having trouble eating and breathing. By the time she was 11 months old, her condition had worsened. Her parents brought her to CHRISTUS Children’s, where a CT scan revealed Rai had a complex vascular ring constricting her esophagus and trachea, explaining her troubles with eating and breathing. Doctors also discovered she has Goldenhar Syndrome, which caused her craniofacial abnormalities. Using innovative techniques and equipment, her medical team conducted a successful effective yet minimally invasive surgery. After the procedure, she received close monitoring in the pediatric intensive care unit to ensure a smooth recovery. Rai has shown remarkable progress and is a lively and vibrant child. She will receive cosmetic surgery for her facial abnormalities once she turns two or three years old. Looking back on their time with CHRISTUS Children’s, Rai’s parents are extremely grateful for the supportive medical team and the incredible care she received. 

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Specialized care team helps Brady overcome cancer

Athletic and energetic Brady began experiencing debilitating headaches and extreme fatigue when he was only 14 years old. His symptoms worsened, and a CT scan showed a blockage in his brain. Brady was admitted to Children’s Hospital New Orleans where doctors placed a shunt in his brain to address the blockage, and biopsied the tissue. Brady was diagnosed with a germ cell tumor called central nervous system (CNS) germinoma. Soon after his diagnosis, Brady underwent four rounds of chemotherapy to remove the germinomas. Through the intensive rounds of chemotherapy, Brady continued to get sick with strep and pneumonia, but he faced every new challenge with resilience and determination. Following his chemotherapy, Brady began daily radiation treatment for four straight weeks. Last September, thanks to the unwavering support from his family and care team, he completed radiation and rang the bell two times, signaling the end of his cancer treatment. Now, Brady is a freshman in high school, recently earning a spot on the honor roll. 

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Hudsyn’s journey to play ball

While Hudsyn was born healthy, once he was a few months old, he became increasingly uncoordinated, had weak muscle tone, and suffered migraines. His mom took him to Mary Bridge Children’s, where an MRI exposed syringomyelia, a fluid-filled cyst that grows in the spinal cord and can impact nerves. After the diagnosis, he underwent his first brain surgery, which didn’t alleviate his symptoms very much. About a year later, Hudsyn returned for his second brain surgery. Following this surgery, he relearned how to walk in physical therapy, but his migraines returned. A few months later, at only four years old, he underwent this third and most successful brain surgery. His surgeon guided him through each step of the way, forming an unbreakable bond with Hudsyn. After the third procedure, Hudsyn worked hard at physical therapy to relearn how to walk again. With determination and persistence, he finished physical therapy and was cleared to play sports! Now, he loves throwing balls and running but enjoys playing T-ball most of all. When he’s not playing ball on the field, Hudsyn loves dressing up as a doctor at home! 

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Children’s Hospital team collaborates with local hospital to provide care

11-year-old Morgan began to have constant stomach pain, and doctors struggled to determine the cause. After months of pain, it became so unbearable that her parents took her to the ER. A worrisome CT scan led to an MRI and various lab work that ultimately revealed a potentially cancerous tumor on her pancreas. While this tumor is not uncommon in young women, they aren’t typically found in children as young as Morgan. Her care team at her community hospital in Virginia determined she would need the Whipple procedure, and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR and VCU Health) stepped in to help. Before her 7-hour surgery, doctors and child life specialists made sure Morgan felt comfortable and prepared. They even encouraged her to partake in her favorite activity, hunting, the day before her surgery. The surgery went well, and Morgan went home after just three days, and by the next week, she was hunting again! Her tumor was completely removed, and she won’t need any future treatment.

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An innovative approach to kidney transplants helps children with immune diseases

Physicians at Stanford Medicine developed an innovative way to provide pediatric kidney transplants without immune-suppressing drugs. This two-transplant combination is called a dual immune/solid organ transplant (DISOT) and has been used to treat patients with rare immune diseases. This new transplant method ensures that recipients do not experience immune rejection of their transplanted organ, helping facilitate successful transplants for 8-year-old Kruz and his 7-year-old sister Paizlee. Both children were born with rare immune diseases and are among the first ever to receive DISOT. Kruz received transplants from their mother, Jessica, and Paizlee received transplants from their father, Kyle. Since the transplants, both children no longer have the immune disorder and are doing things they never thought to be possible. The siblings recently finished first grade, and they are enjoying swimming lessons and going camping with their parents!

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