Families

Alex

Alex
Miracle Story

Alex

Alex

Alex was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect before he was even born. His mother was still pregnant when her doctors noticed that something was wrong and told her to go to The Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. At six days old, Alex endured his first open heart surgery and then spent six weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The PICU at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children had things like medicine pumps, life support machines and respiratory equipment that helped save Alex’s life. These are the kinds of things that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals makes possible. Thanks to the care Alex received, he is now a healthy eight year old boy!

Alexis

Alexis Budd
Miracle Story

Alexis

Alexis Budd

No one expects a medical crisis. Yet, the unexpected happened a few days after Christmas 2009, when Alexis woke up screaming with an excruciating headache. “She just passed out in my arms,” her mom, Kathryn tearfully recalls, “The light just went out of her eyes.” In little over an hour Alexis was in surgery at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. She had a cerebral hemorrhage on the left side of her brain. Diagnosed with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), there were no guarantees that Alexis would wake up from the coma or retain her motor skills if she did wake up. Every day there were obstacles to overcome. Miraculously after three surgeries, Alexis did wake up and gained full mobility. Today she is a normal, healthy thirteen year old girl who loves horses, reading, camping and swimming. Her mom, Kathryn is so grateful. Her daughter’s life was saved by the quick response and expertise of the hospital’s doctors, nurses and everyone who supports them. “The care was sincere—earnest. You just know everyone is here for a reason. They are passionate about what they do.”

Andrew Page

andrew-page
Miracle Story

Andrew Page

andrew-page

When Andrew was born at his community hospital, everything appeared to be normal. However, a pulse oximeter placed on him by a nurse alerted the medical team of a possible heart defect. Immediately, Andrew was transported to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. Andrew was diagnosed with heterotaxy syndrome, a birth defect that affects the heart and other major organs. His numerous organ defects included complex single ventricle, which means only half of his heart was functioning. At just 5 days old, he was treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children for his first in a series of heart surgeries and life-threatening moments – like when he went into cardiac arrest at 2 weeks old. After five months in the hospital, Andrew was able to go home with his mom and dad. With the help of the mobile transport vehicle and the state-of-the-art Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, both of which have been made possible because of CMN Hospitals’ funds, Andrew was able to overcome his greatest medical hurdles and can now enjoy all the things every 8-year-old boy wants to do.

Ashton

ashton
Miracle Story

Ashton

ashton

After enduring five heartbreaking miscarriages, Matt and Amy were overjoyed to hear they were pregnant and expecting healthy, twin boys. But just 21 weeks into the pregnancy, that excitement turned into anxiety when Amy was told she was at risk for pre-term labor. Immediately admitted to Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, Matt & Amy’s medical team hoped to delay labor and give the babies the best chance of survival. Sadly, their first son, Baby Brandon, was born just one week later at only 22 weeks into the pregnancy, alive but too small to survive. All of the focus was now on their second son, Baby Ashton, and on Amy’s birthday, Day 1 of the 23rd week of pregnancy, he was born. Weighing only 1 pound and 4 ounces, Ashton arrived on the earliest day considered viable for babies to survive. Treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Ashton was immediately intubated to receive oxygen and help him breathe. The day Ashton was extubated was the first time Matt & Amy heard their son cry, which they describe as the most beautiful music to their ears. After 111 days, Baby Ashton had his oxygen line removed and began breathing 100% on his own. This was not the "expected" journey for a baby born at just 23 weeks, but Matt & Amy credit that miracle to the exceptional care Ashton received from his medical team – a team they believe loves their son as much as they do.

Caden

caden-3
Miracle Story

Caden

caden-3

        Caden was first seen at the Howard Phillips Center at Arnold Palmer Medical Center when he was 9 months old for developmental delays. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Through the Early Steps program at the Howard Phillips Center, Caden received speech, occupational, behavioral and physical therapy. Currently, at 7 years of age, he continues to receive private occupational, speech and sensory therapy, and occupational and speech therapy through the school system. Early intervention allowed Caden to be mainstreamed in the public school system and to be able to carry on a normal childhood. Caden recently learned how to ride his bike without training wheels! Caden’s mother says Autism has made their family stronger as they have bonded and pulled together through this experience.

Emma

emma
Miracle Story

Emma

emma

Emma was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great vessels.  A big name that means her pulmonary artery and aorta were switched; Emma’s heart was circulating oxygen-depleted blood throughout her body.   Sweet little Emma underwent four open-heart surgeries at the Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.   Today she is a healthy, happy eight-year-old! Each year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals chooses one remarkable miracle child to represent each state. These Champion Children have faced severe medical challenges, yet have had the courage and perseverance to continue to fight back, against all odds. In 2012, Florida was proud to have Emma serve as the state’s ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.   As a 2012 Champion Child, Emma went to Walt Disney World for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals National Celebration.  While there, she met other Champion Children from around the U.S. and Canada who have also faced medical challenges.  In addition, Emma and her family traveled to Washington D.C. with the Champions where they met with Congressmen, conducted media interviews, and raised awareness for the 17 million kids treated

Hannah

Hannah Harger
Miracle Story

Hannah

Hannah Harger

Every parent sends their toddler to pre-school in hopes of learning, socializing, and fun for their child. Hannah got much more than that. In early 2009, Hannah’s pre-school teacher was changing her diaper when she noticed a spot on her tummy. Hannah was taken to her pediatrician who immediately referred her to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. She was diagnosed with a Wilms’ Tumor, Stage V. Hannah underwent exploratory surgery in February to determine the severity of her diagnosis. During the surgery, the doctors had to remove one of Hannah’s kidneys and one-third of her other. She underwent many weeks of chemotherapy following the surgery. She owes her life to her pre-school teacher – much more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. Today, Hannah is doing very well. She has a wonderful and sweet personality and smile that will light up a room.

Isaiah

Isaiah Hil
Miracle Story

Isaiah

Isaiah Hil

Isaiah was born three months premature at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and stayed there for the first five and a half months of his life. At birth, he weighed exactly one pound and was the length of his nurse’s hand. Isaiah was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension where he experienced respiratory issues and could not breathe. Isaiah also has cardiac problems, hearing loss, Down’s syndrome and disphagia, meaning it is hard for him to swallow. Isaiah isn’t talking and crawling like your average two year old, but he is definitely a happy baby. Isaiah is still on oxygen; he is beginning to eat and is finally on the charts for growth. Isaiah’s family has spent a lot of time with him in and out of the hospital, and while it has been difficult, they are thankful. His mother, Geri says, “Watching him with his brother, Zion, is the best.” Despite their ten-year age difference, they are closer than any pair of siblings. She also says of Isaiah, “I think of him as a miracle.” Although he still has a long road ahead of him, thanks to his family, his doctors and his courage, Isaiah has come a long way and is truly a miracle.

JP

jp
Miracle Story

JP

jp

When JP was born, he could barely move. He couldn’t hold his own head up until he was nine months old. JP did not eat regularly and he was constantly sleeping. At first, the doctors thought he would be fine but then soon feared that JP would never be able to walk and they didn’t know why. JP underwent surgery at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and then finally, specialists at the Howard Phillips Center recommended occupational and physical therapy. At the age of 1 year and 8 months, JP was diagnosed with Potocki-Lupski Syndrome (PTLS), a very rare health condition linked to the duplication of chromosome 17. PTLS causes developmental delay, speech problems, low muscle tone and feeding difficulties but JP smiled through it all. At almost 5 years old, JP can now walk and run and loves to dance around. While he faces challenges in his development, he has already surpassed all expectations. With such a large and loving family, JP’s seven siblings are always keeping him busy and happy. His mother, Norma says, “If we are ever angry, upset or stressed about something, JP comes in, changes that and brightens us up.”

Justice

justice
Miracle Story

Justice

justice

The Neonatal Intenive Care  Unit at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies was home to Justice for 92 days.  Justice is a surviving twin and came into the world 17 weeks premature, weighing just 1 pound 5 ounces. After spending three months fighting for her life at Winnie Palmer Hospital, Justice was finally able to go home on oxygen and monitors.  Justice will continue to have cardiac cathererizaions every other month, and attends therapy sessions for help with eating, speech and movement. Now at 4 years-old, Justice has learned to walk and run around –showing no signs of slowing down! Every day Justice shows signs of progress andis so thankful to the staff at Winnie Palmer Hospital and Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for funds used to purchase life-saving equipment.

Kylie

Kylie Krapf
Miracle Story

Kylie

Kylie Krapf

   Kylie’s parents never imagined that she would be living every day with only half of her heart. During her mother’s twenty-week ultrasound, the doctor discovered that Kylie's right side of her heart had not developed like it should have. Kylie’s mom had monthly ultrasounds to check on the condition of her heart. Her parents feel extremely lucky to be so close to a hospital that has a pediatric intensive care unit where Kylie could get all of the care she would need once she was born. Kylie was born on New Year’s Day in 2009. After her first surgery at only nineteen days old, she was stable enough to go home with her mom, dad, and older brother. Shortly after, Kylie developed an infection called Necrotizing Enterocolitis in which part of her intestine became inflamed and failed. The infection was caught quickly and Kylie was able to come home a few weeks later. At 6 months, Kylie underwent her second surgery called the Glenn Shut. She showed her family and healthcare team what a fighter she was when she recovered in less than 2 weeks! Kylie had her third surgery, the Fontan, done when she was 2 and a half years old. Although children with congenital heart defects are usually done after these three staged surgeries, Kylie had to return for yet another surgery in order to close a hole in her heart. Today, Kylie is running, playing, and keeping up with her brothers just like any other 4 year old. Nobody would guess all that sweet Kylie has been through in her life but Kylie’s family says that they would not have it any other way. Kylie is an inspiration to everyone she meets!

Lauren

Lauren Doubleday
Miracle Story

Lauren

Lauren Doubleday

Lauren’s coronary heart disease (CHD) was discovered when she was born after Winnie Palmer Hospital did standard testing. Lauren was then transferred from Winnie Palmer Hospital to Arnold Palmer Hospital when she was two days old for surgery. Lauren was eventually diagnosed with Total Anomalous Pulmonary Vein Return (TAPVR) and underwent open-heart surgery at just 3 days old. Lauren was released from Arnold Palmer Hospital on September 11, 2011 and continues to improve every day. Arnold Palmer Hospital allowed Lauren to stay with her family for her necessary surgery instead of having to travel elsewhere in the country, and for that, her family is very grateful.

Makaylah

Makaylah
Miracle Story

Makaylah

Makaylah

At three weeks old, Makaylah was admitted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children due to spells of turning blue and struggles with choking.  At just four weeks old, she had her first major Gastrointestinal surgery to protect her lungs and began taking all of her nutrition in through a G-Tube. Makaylah was unable to eat by mouth as food caused damage to her lungs. At 20 months old she experienced grand mal seizures and she stopped breathing. From that point forward, Makaylah’s journey became one diagnosis after another. She aspirated when eating and was constantly sick with unusual infections. Makaylah was eventually diagnosed with immunodeficiency, epilepsy, autonomic dysfunction, migraines, strabismus, obstructive airway disease, osteoporosis, a cyst in her brain, hypotonia, and eventually mitochondrial disease - a diagnosis that would pull all of her issues together. Makaylah gets weekly infusions in her belly to keep her from getting sick and to help her body to remain the strongest it can be. The smallest infections cause her to regress physically. Despite this, Makaylah looks and acts like a typical 10 year old girl now.  She is still on a path of balancing all of her issues and fighting through the struggles, but she is thriving!

Maleah

Maleah
Miracle Story

Maleah

Maleah

        Maleah began life as a healthy little girl who only had the occasional cold. But at 3-years-old, Maleah was sent to Arnold Palmer ER due to swollen glands and a rapid increase in white blood cell counts.

        Maleah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and began chemotherapy after having surgery to insert a broviac catheter into her chest.

        The day Maleah’s hair fell out, she went into her mom’s room, looked in the mirror, and exclaimed, “Mommy, I have a cute head!”  It was at that moment when Maleah’s family knew they would make it through.

Patrick & William

patrick-william-tuxedo
Miracle Story

Patrick & William

patrick-william-tuxedo

   Every expecting mother hopes and prays for an easy pregnancy.  Hunter, Patrick, and William’s mother was no exception.  Just 20 weeks into her pregnancy and days after finding out she was going to have triplets, she was admitted to Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies with preeclampsia.  Hunter, Patrick and William came into the world at 27 weeks, weighing just 1 pound 5 ounces, 1 pound 13 ounces, and 1 pound 14 ounces respectively.  After just four days of life, Hunter passed away.  After spending three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, Patrick and William were able to come home – almost to the date of their actual due date in November.  Although they still have a journey ahead of them, Patrick and William are fighters and little miracles in their mother and father’s eyes. Today, the boys are doing very well and living life like little boys should.

Sam

Sam Palmisano
Miracle Story

Sam

Sam Palmisano

Sam is an amazing 15 year old young man who over the course of his life has endured 25 surgeries for spina bifida. Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. What is truly remarkable is that he comes away every time with a smile. This disease comes with a lifetime of complications but Sam always remains optimistic. Sam loves the doctors and nurses at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. With each surgery Sam brings a list with the things that will help cope and the staff is always ready to comply!