30th Birthday Countdown - Days 15 - 11
Day 15 (Sept 10): Amanda Scott (23 years old)
“Having a team of specialists on hand was especially important in Amanda’s situation. There was so much going on all at the same time which made her situation very critical. We understand how truly amazing and skilled the Phoenix Children’s doctors are, and we are forever grateful for their knowledge and experience. We know that’s why Amanda is still with us today,” remarks Amanda’s mom Julie. Amanda was 16 when she became violently ill. Diagnosed with the extremely rare Lemierre’s syndrome, an emergency surgery at Phoenix Children’s saved her life. She had six surgeries in five weeks and spent nearly two months recovering at the Hospital, with more than 50 people involved in her care. The experience changed her life in many ways, including the career path she would eventually take. Amanda recently earned her BSN and is now a registered nurse working in the GAPP program at Phoenix Children’s.
The goal at Phoenix Children's Hospital is to provide consistency and support as nurses transition into the role of a pediatric staff nurse. Great nursing careers begin with a great clinical experience, and that is the foundation of Phoenix Children's Graduate Advancement Program in Pediatrics, or GAPP™. For nursing graduates, Phoenix Children’s provides distinct career tracks in departments throughout the Hospital. As part of the program, participants must complete 15 weeks of training that includes more than 120 hours of classroom training, online learning programs, guided clinical experience throughout the 15 weeks, self-care support groups and “looping" to other units of the Hospital.
Day 14 (Sept 11) Avery Ruiz (9 years old)
At the start of every school year, Avery stands in front of his class and explains his condition. He’s just like them; he likes to swim and go to the movies. But he’s dealing with more than most 9-year-olds. Avery was born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), which causes clusters of fluid-filled cysts to form in the kidneys. The disease often leads to kidney failure, and more than one-fourth of infants with ARPKD will die within hours or days after birth due to breathing difficulties. “Phoenix Children's has cared for Avery since he was 1 month old,” says mom Adrian. “More than that, they have cared for us.” At age 4, Avery received a kidney from his mom. Three days later, he ate food for the first time in his life, no longer receiving nutrients from a port. Unfortunately Avery lost his mom’s kidney in April, but he is a fighter and is currently undergoing dialysis. Looking to the future, Adrian says, “My wish is for Avery to see the world. I have agreed to be his tour guide if he’ll have me!”
Phoenix Children's comprehensive Nephrology Program includes Arizona's only dedicated Pediatric Dialysis Center, providing inpatient and outpatient hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Our Peritoneal Dialysis Program started 14 years ago.
Day 13 (Sept 12) Jayson Kubica (6 years old)
Jayson was just 2 when his grandma found him face down in the bottom of her swimming pool. The two had been playing with the dog in the backyard when Stephanie got distracted for just a moment. A moment was all it took. When she pulled him out he was unconscious. Lifeless. She and a neighbor performed CPR before he was brought to the Phoenix Children's Hospital Emergency Department. “I don’t know why we were one of the lucky ones,” she says now. Jayson made a full recovery and Stephanie is now an advocate for water safety. She says the day they were released from the hospital the nurse wheeling Jayson out told her that she couldn’t wait to see what Jayson grows up to be because it’s going to be something really special. We couldn’t agree more.
Water Watchers, a drowning prevention program founded in 1998 in honor of Weston Letter, became a part of Phoenix Children's Hospital in 2000 and has been their water safety program for 13 years. Water Watchers has received national recognition, making Phoenix Children’s a leader in the prevention of child drownings.
Day 12 (Sept 13) Ethan Daniel (6 years old)
Four years ago Ethan’s mom said, “We just got placed on the kidney transplant list. My hope for Ethan’s future is for him to have a kidney and be even more of a boy than he is now.” Wish granted. Four months later Ethan underwent a successful kidney transplant at Phoenix Children’s. The donor was his grandma. Ethan was diagnosed at 6 months with a genetic disorder that makes the kidneys unable to filter protein. Prior to his transplant, Ethan underwent eight surgeries – including two to remove his kidneys. He spent years on dialysis, and months at a time at the Hospital. “It’s so amazing to watch our son grow along with a great hospital like Phoenix Children’s. Our family has seen so many wonderful stories come from this Hospital and we’re honored to be one of them.”
Phoenix Children’s Hospital has the state's only dedicated Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program. In 2012, the Kidney Transplant Program performed 12 kidney transplants.
Day 11 (Sept 14) Dana Cashion (16 years old)
When Dr. David Notrica, surgeon and trauma medical director, came out of surgery with Dana he told her mom, Susan, that he was surprised Dana had even been able to function. Dana had gone years with severe stomach pain. She had stopped growing and eventually became frail and weak. “She basically started to deteriorate from a lack of nutrients,” says Susan. Even though Susan told doctors of their family history of Crohn’s disease, it was dismissed. One night after rushing Dana to the emergency department at another hospital, they transferred her to Phoenix Children’s where the family finally got a definitive diagnosis of Crohn’s. But medication wasn’t helping, and a small bowel resection surgery was the only option. Dr. Notrica presumed that he would need to remove seven to 10 inches of Dana’s small bowel. But when he went in, there was so much scar tissue he removed 32 inches. “When you go there, they make you feel like your child is their number one priority. And thanks to Phoenix Children’s, my daughter is now living a happy healthy life and doing all of the things a 16 year old girl should be doing.”
The Pediatric Gastroenterology Program at Phoenix Children's offers a full range of services to diagnose, treat and manage intestinal, pancreatic, liver and nutritional disorders in infants, children and adolescents, on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. It is located inside the new 11-story tower on the Hospital’s main campus.
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