30th Birthday Countdown
Day 30 (August 26th): Noah Swanson (age 3)
As an infant, Noah suffered from chronic ear infections and in 2010 he had a febrile seizure. It wasn’t until he was a year-and-a-half-old when doctors at Phoenix Children’s diagnosed him with myelodyspastic syndrome (MDS), a condition where a group of disorders cause the bone marrow to produce an inadequate number of healthy blood cells, treated in kids with a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. Noah was put on the national bone marrow registry, but since no match was found, doctors decided a cord blood transplant would be the way to go. He underwent his transplant on July 5, 2013, at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Phoenix Children's Hospital and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale run the Valley's only accredited pediatric blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program, The Ottosen Family Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. This program, part of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s, performs an average of 30 BMT transplants a year.
Day 29 (August 27th): Jazzy Ramos (age 16)
Jazzy had always been a dancer. So at age 12 when her leg began hurting she thought it was just a knee injury. Instead, it was bone cancer. Unlike younger children who are diagnosed with cancer and unfamiliar with the word and what it means, Jazzy was old enough to know how this was going to affect her life. “I asked if I was going to die. You see it on TV and how it looks and what people go through. It was terrifying,” she says. Jazzy would need chemotherapy, along with surgery to remove her tibia and replace it with a steel rod. In April of 2012 doctors removed two cancerous tumors from Jazzy’s right lung. “My journey with cancer is nowhere near over but my faith will not be shaken. It has changed me as a person and showed me that life can change in an instant. But it’s made me stronger than I was before.”
Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Camp Rainbow is for children who have, or have had cancer or a chronic blood disorder. Every year, campers have the opportunity to enjoy one week of fun and meaningful experiences with others in a supportive environment full of activities. This August, Camp Rainbow celebrated their 29th year of camp.
Day 28 (August 28th) Ethan Younger (16 years old)
Two years ago Ethan left to spend the night at a friend’s house. His mom, Kristine, got a call less than an hour later saying there had been an accident. Ethan’s friend, not knowing a gun was loaded, had shot Ethan in the upper left pelvic area. The blast severed Ethan’s femoral artery. Transported to the Hospital’s Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, Ethan’s parents rushed in to find their son surrounded by a team of surgeons. “We didn’t know if he was going to make it. It was horrible as a parent to see that and not be able to help your son. You’re so helpless,” recalls Kristine. Surgeons operated through the night, first to save Ethan’s life – then to save his leg. They did both. “It really is a miracle what they did. Ethan would not have lived if it had been a different hospital. We’re lucky that we have a miracle story.” Following stabilization in the Trauma Center, Ethan spent four weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
The Sybil B. Harrington Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Phoenix Children's Hospital is one of the largest pediatric critical care units in the country. It is uniquely prepared to serve the state's most critically ill or injured children, offering all critical care services, including neuro-resuscitation, trauma, cardiac care, endocrine, orthopaedic, and hematology/oncology. At least 28 nurses and eight intensivists within the Critical Care department have worked for Phoenix Children's for at least 10 years. Support staff, consultants, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, child life specialists, and resident physicians in training round out the multidisciplinary team.
Day 27 (August 29th): Gabriella Speranzo (2 years old)
Gabrielle Speranzo was diagnosed with type 1 juvenile diabetes on September 20, 2012, right before her second birthday. Like most children her age, Gabrielle fusses about what shoes she will wear or her bedtime, but is doing an excellent job managing her diabetes. “While her diabetes is always on our minds, Gabrielle’s amazing maturity has made the transition easier,” her father Todd said. “She understands that shots and finger pricks are a part of her life and doesn’t complain or resist.” Through the help of the Endocrinology Care Team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Gabrielle is about to start on an insulin pump which will improve control of her diabetes and make life easier. Gabrielle doesn’t let diabetes define her, in fact, just like most little girls, she loves her dogs, school and dance class.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital has the largest pediatric endocrinology and diabetes program in Arizona, with more than 6,400 patient visits each year. Approximately 27 new kids are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each month at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Day 26 (August 30th) Sebastian Moscoso (7 years old)
Sebastian was born weighing only 2 pounds, 5 ounces. He was also born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that typically causes low muscle tone, short stature, incomplete sexual development, and a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity. Sebastian spent the first five months of his life at the Hospital. When he did come home it was with a ventilator, feeding tubes, oxygen tank, suction machine and apnea monitor. The family spent the next five years making multiple trips each month to the Hospital from Surprise. But the 40-mile drive was worth it. “I don’t know of any other place that makes sure the patient is taken care of so well, not just while you’re in the hospital, but once you take your child home,” says his mom, Cindy. Today she calls her son a walking miracle. “If you don’t think you’ve ever seen a miracle just stop by Phoenix Children’s.”
The Developmental Pediatrics Program at Phoenix Children's Hospital is supporting optimal childhood development through the early identification of medical and biobehavioral conditions. On average, 26 patients are seen each day during a general Developmental Pediatrics Clinic at Phoenix Children’s.
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