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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Haven's Story

Age 5

Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Heart Defect

Haven has a smile that can light up a room. For Haven’s parents, a day never goes by without feeling profoundly grateful for that smile.

Within hours of her birth, Haven was rushed from the hospital where she was born to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. There she was diagnosed with pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect. In simple terms, the artery that connects Haven’s heart to her lungs was almost completely closed. She also had a valve in her heart that did not close properly. To repair the defects, Haven underwent two heart procedures in her first 11 days of life.

Both surgeries were successful, but at 12 days old Haven’s tiny body suddenly began to shut down. For 58 agonizing minutes, caregivers performed CPR to keep her alive. Once stabilized, she was placed on ECMO, a heart-lung bypass machine that gave her body time to rest and heal.

Today Haven is making progress overcoming speech and motor skill delays with the help of ongoing therapy. Most importantly, she is a happy 5-year-old with a heart that works just as it should.