At birth, Grace Norman was diagnosed with congenital constrictive band syndrome, a fetal abnormality. As the child grows in the womb, strands of tissue can make creases in soft tissues, sometimes going as deep as the bone. Severe cases, like Grace's, can result in amputation of the constricted limb.Grace was fitted with her first prosthetic leg when she was just 13 months old. Dayton Children's and Optimus Prosthetics, maker of the Cheetah Foot, have helped Grace, now a teenager, in her running endeavors. With a personal best of 2:26:87 in the 800 meter race—a challenging distance requiring both speed and endurance—Grace is currently training to be part of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Greyson was born prematurely. He spent months at the hospital receiving his nutrition through a feeding tube. Although he gained strength and was able to go home, he could not take nutrition by mouth and failed to thrive. At 2 years old he was still totally feeding-tube dependent. At The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh’s Feeding and Swallowing Program a team consisting of a pediatrician, a speech/language pathologist, a clinical dietician, an occupational therapist and a behavioral specialist came up with treatment recommendations Greyson’s parents were able to follow at home for the short term. He was eventually admitted into The Children’s Institute’s inpatient feeding program. Greyson has made huge gains and is now able to eat nearly half of his food by mouth. Now age 3, he enjoys being active and grows stronger every day.
Austin was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A true "Superman" Austin exceeded expectations, plowing through grueling weekly chemo treatments, multiple bone marrow biopsies, lumbar punctures and several inpatient hospital stays. In 2013 Austin received a bone marrow transplant. However, just three months after the transplant, he was found to have residual disease which would have eventually triggered a relapse.Austin was fortunate to qualify for a rare trial involving immunotherapy. Lab-engineered T-cells were injected to seek out and "attack" B-cells. After six weeks the treatment was deemed successful. At a nine-month bone marrow checkup there was no evidence of leukemia, and "Superman" is going strong.
Havianna hadn't been feeling well, but still she climbed into the family station wagon headed north on a trip to Seattle to visit cousins. The family doctor thought she might be fighting a stubborn sinus infection.When her condition didn't improve, her parents took her to Seattle Children's Hospital where she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Havianna had the FLT3 mutation, an aggressive form of the cancer known for poor prognosis and high recurrence.Luckily for Havianna, the doctors at Seattle Children's are experts in research and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Havinanna received treatment and, when she relapsed, doctors recommended a new treatment, sorafenib—an oral medicine often used for kidney and liver cancer. Five years later the treatment is still working for Havianna. To date, patients treated with sorafenib have a 70 percent survival relapse rate. "We made a last minute choice to stay in Seattle," says Havianna's mom. "Looking back, it's like it was meant to be. Our story could have been much different."
Gavin Pierson has a mature teratoma brain tumor he has nicknamed "Joe Bully." Gavin has undergone 17 surgeries in standing up to his bully.A combination of craniotomies and the drug palbociclib had been managing the growth of Joe Bully, but not decreasing its size. Gavin and his family were growing tired and frustrated with invasive surgeries, and Gavin wasn't bouncing back as well as they hoped.Enter "Visualase," a laser-based technology used for neurosurgery and guided by MRI images to precisely target areas of the brain that were previously thought inoperable. Using this laser, the team was able to access Gavin's tumor. He has undergone three laser ablation procedures and has bounced back quickly from the minimally invasive surgeries.
Miguel is the youngest recipient in north Texas to receive a revolutionary prosthetic hand called the 'bebionic.' The advanced hand allows patients to perform a variety of everyday activities such as typing, eating, drinking, writing and turning a key in a lock.The hand is expected to last three to four years and can bear almost 100 pounds of weight. Surface electrodes pick up signals to control the movement of the hand, which is equipped with complex software programmed for up to 18 different movements."Now I have no excuse not to write my essays," jokes Miguel.
Dr. Alejandro Gutierrez checks on a row of zebrafish being studied for cancer research. Due to the fish's unusual genetic similarity to mammals and rapid reproductive cycles, zebrafish are often used in medical research. With an average time between generations of only three months and the females' ability to lay upwards of 1,000 eggs per week, it's possible to study genetic mutations across broad populations and generations in a tiny fraction of the time, space and cost it would take to conduct similar studies in other animals.
During a routine prenatal visit, an ultrasound revealed Elysse Mata was carrying conjoined twin girls. The family was referred to Texas Children's Hospital's Fetal Center where Elysse underwent extensive prenatal imaging and multidisciplinary planning to achieve a safe delivery and postnatal care. Born at 31 weeks gestation via Caesarean-section, twins Knatalye and Adeline shared a liver, diaphragm, pericardial sac (the lining of the heart) and intestines.On Feb. 23, 2015 a team of 12 surgeons, six anesthesiologists and eight surgical nurses assisted in an 18-hour surgery to separate the girls. "This is the first time a separation surgery for thoraco-omphalo-ischiopagus twins with this particular configuration has been successful," said pediatric surgeon Dr. Darrell Cass. "This surgery was not without its challenges as the girls were sharing several organ systems. Our team has been preparing for this surgery for months and we've done everything from working with our radiology experts to build a 3-D model of their organs, to conducting simulations of the actual separation surgery."Knatalye and Adeline will continue to be monitored at the hospital until they are ready to go home.
During her first three months of life, Katelyn was happy and healthy. A dramatic turn came when she became unusually lethargic and began sweating when she nursed. When she began to gag and her lips turned blue she was rushed to the emergency room. X-rays revealed an enlarged heart and doctors determined Katelyn was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy—her heart was weak and unable to pump blood effectively.Katelyn was connected to a machine that took over for her ailing heart, pumping her blood for her until a transplant heart became available. Just 4 months old, Katelyn became the third heart recipient in Children's Hospital & Medical Center Omaha's transplant program.The surgery was a success and today Katelyn is thriving with her new heart.
Jaylisse Rivera was born weighing just 1 pound, 2 ounces. At 5 months of age she was airlifted to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were she would receive the most advanced treatment for her pulmonary hypertension, a severe condition affecting the heart and lungs. For 231 days she was supported by a ventilator, central line and feeding tube and received antibiotics and blood-thinning medications.The same aggressive treatments that were keeping the frail child alive also made Jaylisse vulnerable to infections and other hospital-acquired complications. However, the series of rigorous safety checks and balances at the children's hospital has protected Jaylisse. The staff have developed innovative systems to prevent mistakes and catch errors before they harm patients.Children's Hospital of Philadelphia kept Jaylisse safe and healthy through her long healing process and at 18 months old, she's a happy toddler.
Judges' Pick: "The perspective, composition, colors - everything about this image moves me. But mainly it's the way the photographer captures the intimate connection between the physician's calm professionalism and the young boy's apprehension about the unknown. For just an instant, the photographer grants us access to this magic moment." --Bill Gentile, Professor of Film and Media Arts, American University, Washington, D.C., and former Newsweek photographer
Diagnosed with double inlet left ventricle with an interrupted aortic arch, little Hailee-Anne has already had three surgeries and will soon undergo a fourth to implant a pacemaker to correct electrical problems in her heart.Hailee-Anne was born in the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, a birthing unit within Children's Hospital of Philadelphia dedicated to healthy mothers carrying babies with serious and life-threatening birth defects.
When Jaxson Hinkens was 6-years-old he developed a limp. After tests, doctors determined that Jaxon had tumors compressing his spinal cord and diagnosed him with a rare childhood cancer – Stage 4 neuroblastoma. After a grueling 15-month journey of high-dose chemotherapy, surgery and stem-cell transplants, Jaxon's cancer went into remission. But it didn't last; three-and-a-half years later, at age 11, Jaxson's cancer returned.This photograph is one in a series of portraits created for all the mothers who planned to spend their Mother's Day in a hospital room caring for their child instead of attending a brunch or family dinner. The photos were taken a few days before Mother's Day and delivered to unsuspecting-but-delighted mothers on Sunday morning.Jaxson, his family, friends and entire community are determined to knock out Jaxson's cancer a second time.Judges' Pick: "This photo captures so much emotion. The love, joy, and sweetness captured in this moment between mother and son need no words. The images fill the picture with the expressions being the center of focus. The tenderness represented is something we all long for and need." --Karen Wolfson, Trustee, Wolfson Children's Hospital, Jacksonville, FL
Judges' Pick: "This little girl is really empowered by being a 'superwoman.' She's even utilizing the exam table and the medical equipment as 'props' in her superhero act. She may be in the hospital, but she's not letting it get her down." --Lily Francesca Alt, Photo Director, Parents Magazine, New York, NY
Judges' Pick: "I like the interaction of the firefighter relating to the child and how the burned child is regarding him. A saved child with the firefighter speaks volumes about tragedy and survival." --Sharon Farmer, The Exposure Group African American Photographers Association, former Chief White House photographer under the Clinton administration and photo editor, Associated Press, Washington, D.C.
When Kayden was 7 months old, her parents knew something was not right and they quickly took Kayden to the emergency department.Diagnosed with epilepsy, Kayden has been admitted into the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit six times so doctors and nurses at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital could study her seizures and determine the best treatment. Following brain surgery in 2013, two of her three types of seizures have stopped, and Kayden has made great strides in development. She receives physical, developmental, occupational and speech therapy weekly."The neuroscience team is tremendously supportive medically and emotionally. They are leaders in children's medicine, but also offer the compassion and support to treat each child as their own. As parents, they help get us through every day, knowing we are not alone in this struggle with our daughter," said mother Jessica.
For patients who are unable to attend their own school homecoming celebration due to hospitalization or life-limiting illness, All Children's Hospital hosts an annual Homecoming Dance for patients and their "dates." The multi-day affair begins with formal dress and jacket in-house shopping, followed by pre-party pampering. Professional hair and makeup stylists are brought in and work their magic on the patients. Sophisticated homecoming décor abounds and culminates in an enchanted special event for all.
Champions for Children's Health
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