Meet Jackson: A Dartmouth Health Children’s Champion

Meet Jackson: A Dartmouth Health Children’s Champion

During Family Advocacy Day, Jackson and his family will discuss his health journey, Dartmouth Health Children’s role in providing him with necessary care, and why we must invest in the future of patients like Jackson.

In 2015, Jackson was born at Brigham & Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston. On the second day of his life, he went into respiratory distress and was taken to the NICU. On the third day, specialists from Boston Children's Hospital diagnosed him with a genetic condition called CHARGE Syndrome.

Jackson, a Dartmouth Health Children’s champion,
is participating in Family Advocacy Day.

Following his diagnosis, Jackson spent the first six weeks of his life in the BWH NICU before coming home. Upon discharge, all of his care was at Boston Children’s for the next two and half years, before Jackson and his family moved to New Hampshire in 2017 and transferred most of his care to Dartmouth Health Children’s.

“Jackson was our first baby,” says Michelle, Jackson’s mother. “My husband and I felt overwhelmed, confusion, sadness, immense love, concern and an unyielding call to action with a desire to take care of Jackson in all the ways needed.”

After over 30 surgeries and an immense amount of medical and supportive care over the years, some of Jackson's early issues have begun to resolve.

“We have been able to reduce the number of specialists we see regularly from 25 to 15,” says Michelle. “Many medical issues will be on-going, and we expect to keep several specialists in the mix throughout Jackson's childhood and into adulthood.”

Thankfully, Jackson qualifies for Medicaid based on his diagnoses, so all of his medical care and medications have been covered.

Today, Jackson is doing well, with increasing medical stability. He loves watching shows on his iPad, swinging in his sensory swing and spending time with his friends and sister.

Family Advocacy Day

Elevating patient stories and educating lawmakers remains critical to increase awareness about the essential care provided by children's hospitals.