ANABELLA | APRIL 2017
Meet our April Patient of the Month, Anabella. During an early check-up, Anabella was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition called atrial septum defect, or a hole in her heart. By the age of 4, she had been hospitalized several times with pneumonia and other side effects of her condition. Her parents, Lourdes and Jerry, were told that she would need open-heart surgery. After looking at hospitals all over the country for the best one to treat their daughter, they decided on one out of state, only to be told by a physician there, “Well, we would gladly welcome Anabella, but why would you come here when you have one of the top cardiac surgeons in the nation in your backyard?” referring to Dr. Redmond Burke. And so Lourdes and Jerry met with Dr. Burke at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, who gave them the reassurance they were looking for during this difficult time. Shortly after, Dr. Burke closed the hole in Anabella’s heart, and today she is a lively girl with no limits to what she can do.
BI'YANIE | JUNE 2017
Meet our June Patient of the Month, Bi’Yanie. At a young age, Bi’Yanie was diagnosed with sickle cell, a blood disorder that causes the cells to take on a crescent or sickle shape, which can lead to very painful episodes called crises. Another side effect of the disease is the heightened risk of having a stroke, and at 6 years old that is exactly what happened. Bi’Yanie’s mom noticed that one side of her body was weaker and immediately took her to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. A few months later she had to undergo brain surgery to restore blood flow to one side of her brain, but her ordeal was not over yet. She was still at risk of having a stroke again, so her doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant, the only known cure to sickle cell disease. Today, Bi’Yanie is getting stronger by the day, thanks to the care she received at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital!
FRANKIE | DECEMBER 2017
What was supposed to be a fun day for Frankie and his sister with their uncle quickly took an unexpected and tragic turn. Frankie was kicked in the head by a horse at the ranch they were visiting, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was airlifted to the nearest trauma center, and as soon as he was stable, his parents opted to have him transferred via LifeFlight to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Today, he is getting better by the day thanks to the care he received at Nicklaus Children’s.
LACY | JULY 2017
Meet our July Patient of the Month, Lacy. Lacy was only 2 years old when her parents noticed that something was wrong. She couldn’t walk and spent most of the day sleeping. They took her to various doctors to determine what could be the cause until they were finally referred to a neurologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She was supposed to receive an MRI but was so weak that the radiologist suggested a CAT scan instead. What they found left Lacy’s parents in shock. Lacy had an 8 cm. tumor, occupying most of the lower part of her brain. Lacy’s parents were told that she would need surgery right away to remove the tumor, and once they were able to run a biopsy, they discovered it was malignant. Lacy had brain cancer. The surgery to remove her tumor was just the beginning of her journey to recovery; she also under went six months of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Today, Lacy is cancer free and receiving different therapies to continue getting stronger every day. She is not only our Patient of the Month, we have also named her this year’s MCHF5K Hero, as her story is a true testament to the fighting spirit our patients have.
LUKAS | FEBRUARY 2017
When Lukas was born, his parents saw no signs that anything could be wrong with their new baby. Little did they know that their newborn son would soon be fighting for his life. At just two weeks old, Lukas started showing symptoms of what at first seemed like stomach issues that babies sometimes have. But when they persisted, his mom decided to take him to the Emergency Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital where doctors found that Lukas had an arrhythmia, a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm. The team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Heart Program acted quickly to save Lukas, and now, a year later, he is a happy toddler growing stronger each day.
MARIANA | OCTOBER 2017
Meet our October Patient of the Month, Mariana. Mariana was born with Crouzon syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents the skull from growing normally. For Mariana, it also caused difficulties with her breathing, but unfortunately, in Venezuela, where Mariana was born, they did not have the resources to treat her condition. At just a year and a half old, her parents brought her to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital with the help of the Global Health department, and a week later, Mariana had a tracheostomy. Now with the ability to breathe better, Mariana started to thrive. Since then, Mariana has been coming back every year from Venezuela to be seen by Dr. Anthony Wolfe, the director for the plastic surgery division at Nicklaus Children’s, and for her favorite activity of the year, the Dr. Moises Simpser VACC Camp.
MILAGROS | MARCH 2017
Meet our March Patient of the Month, Milagros. At 12 years old, Milagros was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself. In Milagros’ case, the disease attacked her kidneys, and a few years after her diagnosis, her kidneys completely shut down. Milagros had to start going to dialysis three times a week for three to four hours to be connected to a machine that does the work of the kidneys. Throughout all of this, she relied on her father to be her rock, but her world was turned upside down once again when he passed away from lung cancer in 2016. At 20 years old, the challenges she has faced have been tough, but through it all her strong spirit, positivity and big smile have prevailed. March is National Kidney Month. Help us raise awareness by liking and sharing Milagros’ story!
PIERO | AUGUST 2017
Meet Piero, our August Patient of the Month. Piero was born prematurely at just 27 weeks old. Problems with his trachea meant he might have needed a tracheostomy, but his parents wanted to explore other options. They came for help at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, and today, Piero lives life to the fullest without worry.
VICTORIA | NOVEMBER 2017
Meet our November Patient of the Month, Victoria. Victoria was born in Venezuela and lived her life like any normal kid, up until the age of 10. That is when she started feeling a strong pain in her chest. Her parents took her to see her cardiologist, who said that she would need surgery. However, the procedure did not go as planned.