Meet the Miracle Children
Brooke was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer and immediately began treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital. Nearly 95 percent of children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia go into remission after standard chemotherapy. But Brooke wasn’t so fortunate. Following more intense therapy and a bone marrow transplant, Brooke’s immune system began attacking her organs, causing a series of complications.
Brooke spent almost eight months and several holidays in the hospital. It was a very difficult time for her and her family. Boston Children’s staff did all they could to lift spirits – celebrating every holiday and bringing a sense of normalcy to a difficult situation.
Now in remission and back at school, Brooke can be found playing her favorite sport, hockey!
Looking at Stephanie’s beaming smile, you’d never guess she has sickle cell disease—a condition that affects blood cells, and causes pain. She’s far too positive to let anything get her down.
Plus, Stephanie has a wonderful care team at Boston Children’s to support her, and help her manage her symptoms at home. To say thanks, Stephanie made hundreds of colorful bracelets to support sickle cell research at the hospital. Selling bracelets in her neighborhood and school for $0.50 apiece, while giving them away to kids who didn’t have the money, she raised $52.
Stephanie can be found on the soccer field and creating original artwork—all with her trademark smile.
The scars on Matthew’s torso tell stories of many medical procedures. But he doesn’t remember them. He knows he was born tiny and that his twin brother went straight to heaven. When kids ask about the marks he takes it in stride, simply stating his kidneys were very sick when he was born and are still recovering. Matthew continues to be treated at Boston Children’s Hospital, receiving the same expert care he has since birth.
Most micro-preemies face developmental delays, but Matthew is lucky. He has advanced verbal skills, is reading well above grade level and loves writing musicals for his friends.
Evan and Joey
Brothers Evan, 5, and Joey, 8, share more than a last name: they are both frequent-fliers at Boston Children’s Hospital. Combined, they have been seen in over a dozen Boston Children’s clinics, and have stayed on almost every inpatient unit.
Evan was born with a rare neurological and metabolic disease, Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), and was the very first MSUD patient at Boston Children’s to have a liver transplant—the only known cure. After months of recovery—big setbacks and bigger wins—Evan finally went home to his family. Including Joey, who was diagnosed with Autism at two years old, and has excelled drastically ever since.
Both boys are now happy and well. While Evan and Joey still require lots of diverse care, their parents rest assured knowing that their little boys are in the very best of hands at Boston Children’s.
When the Vaughns were expecting their firstborn son, they received unexpected news: He was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a birth defect that prevents the lungs from forming properly. His parents knew they had to find the best care possible, so they went straight to Boston Children’s Hospital. The pregnancy was closely monitored and as soon as he was born, a team of Boston Children’s doctors took action. At 1 day old, Griffin went into surgery. His parents, although nervous, knew he was in good hands.
Griffin’s surgery went smoothly. After two weeks, he was transferred out of intensive care. The child life specialist helped to “ normalize” his life as much as possible – even getting a picture with Santa Claus for Griffin’s first Christmas! He was discharged on Christmas Eve to a very happy family.
Griffin is now a healthy 8-year-old. He is still seen at Boston Children’s and his team of doctors continues to be amazed by his progress. He loves kindergarten and enjoys reading, baseball and soccer.
Two days after Jackson was born, an on-call pediatrician noticed his heart didn’t sound normal. Follow-ups with cardiologists confirmed he had ventricular septal defect, a hole in his heart. At 7 weeks old, he was brought to Boston Children’s Hospital for open-heart surgery.
As Jackson recovered in the intensive care unit, his caregivers were impressed by how well he was doing and his parents were amazed by the top-quality care he was receiving from Boston Children’s staff.
Today Jackson is a healthy 9-year-old. He is outgoing and makes friends wherever he goes, whether on the sports field or playground.
At first, Lily appeared to be a perfectly healthy newborn. But shortly after taking her home, her parents began to worry that she had jaundice. At just 6 weeks old, the team at Boston Children’s Hospital diagnosed Lily with biliary atresia, a disease that prevents bile from leaving the liver and eventually results in scarring and cirrhosis.
Doctors were concerned that without a transplant, Lily wouldn’t make it to her second birthday. Thankfully, Lily’s new liver arrived just in time. Her recovery from surgery wasn’t easy. She walked laps in the hospital to visit other kids and made friends with the nursing staff, winning everyone over with her personality.
Now 11, you would never know Lily had to fight to survive the first few years of her life. She spends her time doing her favorite things, including playing sports, helping her teacher, and singing.
When Katie was 2-years-old, she caught the stomach flu that was going around her music class. After several days without improvement, her parents brought her to the pediatrician. She noticed Katie was non-responsive and her lips were turning blue, and immediately had Katie rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital.
At Boston Children’s, she slipped into a semi-comatose state—her body started shutting down. What started as a stomach flu was diagnosed as a metabolic stroke. Thankfully, she came out of the coma, but remained in the hospital for 23 days recovering. As Katie had to relearn everything, including how to walk and talk again, Boston Children’s was by her side.
Now 8, Katie is a bubbly and intelligent little girl with an unbreakable spirit. She still visits Boston Children’s Hospital as doctors continue to understand this rare stroke and prevent it from happening again.
When Jayda was 3 years old, local doctors discovered the source of her persistent leg pain—a rare, cancerous tumor pressing against a major nerve.
Without pause, her parents transferred her care to Boston Children’s, the leader in pediatric oncology. Jayda underwent five rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, and a host of treatments—but her spirits were kept high with the help of hospital arts and crafts, and “ spa days” with her favorite nurse.
Nowadays, Jayda is healthy and thriving—and her family’s very own “ princess warrior.”