Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions

Champions is a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals program that brings attention to the important work being done at its 170 children’s hospitals. It does this by honoring 51 remarkable kids who have faced severe medical challenges, and helping them tell their stories.

The Champions program designates a child in every state who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The Champions represent the nearly 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year. The 2011 Champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, organ transplants and traumas, as well as various types of cancer.

The Champions travel for a week in October, first to Washington, D.C., where they traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. They then take a private chartered flight, provided by Delta Air Lines, to Orlando, Fla. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, hospital representatives and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brad's Story

Age 13

Akron Children's Hospital

Rheumatic Fever

The festivities of Brad’s 12th birthday were unfortunately accompanied by body aches and vomiting. His flu-like symptoms continued throughout the next few days to the point he could barely stand. When Brad’s mother finally rushed him to Akron Children's Hospital, doctors discovered he had contracted rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is a serious inflammatory disease caused by untreated or complicated cases of strep throat.

From the moment he was admitted, Brad’s life became a roller coaster as his body fought the deadly disease. At one point he went into full cardiac arrest and physicians decided to replace the aortic valve of his heart with a mechanical one. Thankfully, the risky surgery was a success and Brad’s body slowly began to recover.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Brad kept his spirits up. Even during his lowest moments he would ask his nurses how all the other patients were faring.

Brad continues to take specialized medication and makes regular visits to the hospital. Everyone is always happy to welcome him and his great big smile—a hallmark of his spirit and attitude toward life.