Patient Success Stories

Read inspiring stories of hope from patients and families treated at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

Have your own Patient Success Story to share? If you’d like to share your Nicklaus Children’s story to inspire hope, and help other families find answers to questions they’re seeking for their child, please contact us at: info@nicklaushealth.org.


As you read these inspiring stories, we invite you to help us be there for the children by making an investment in their future through a contribution to Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation.


 

Madison Stays on Track Thanks to Virtual Appointments with Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists

Like many parents who have had to adjust to a new normal due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Joanna Glazer worried how her daughter Madison Glazer, age 10, would stay on track with her studies and therapy sessions with social distancing.

Cardiac Catheterization Procedure Helps Jackson's Start to Life

Baby Jackson, born after only 24 weeks of gestation, was very fragile and required oxygen around the clock. His parents were referred to Nicklaus Children's Hospital to repair his patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) a congenital heart defect that occurs commonly in premature infants.

Julian's Telehealth Success Story

Parents worry anytime a little one falls ill, but imagine if your child becomes sick during a national health emergency. That is exactly what happened to my 4-year-old son amid news of the coronavirus pandemic affecting our community.

Killian Basketball Player Has Heart of a Champion

Toniyah Washington grew up on the basketball court. It is her passion, but four years ago this week, Washington underwent life-saving surgery and her road to recovery provided more challenging than you could imagine.

Tomas' Ketogenic Diet Journey

Tomas was a typical, developing three-year-old when he had his first seizure. At first, his parents thought it was related to a temperature spike, but when he had another one the next day, they knew something was terribly wrong. The next 24 hours were a whirlwind.

Lizzie's Story

When Elizabeth “Lizzie” Debowsky was only 7 years old, she began experiencing a sudden pain in her hip. Her parents Shari and Stuart immediately worried when the pain became so severe it was affecting her ability to walk.

Julen Smiles

Three days in the hospital, 44 medical appointments, numerous X-rays and ultrasounds, two urinalyses, three blood draws, a salivagram and a swallow study. This was the medical agenda for baby Julen in May 2019, the last full month he was able to be mostly at home with his family. After that, the little boy’s condition deteriorated and he was hospitalized for most of the rest of his days.

Gianna's Story

After noticing that her daughter was unable to crawl, stand, or do the things her friend's children were doing at six months of age, Idalmis decided that it was time to seek help. Sure enough, after some consultations and genetic testing, Idalmis' gut feeling was right.

A Medical Miracle: Ayden's Story

After a normal full-term pregnancy with no complications, Shenequa gave birth to Ayden via C-section in May 2017 in the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Shortly after, the baby's pediatrician detected a murmur, but with no pediatric cardiologist on the island, Ayden was airlifted to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.


Brenden's Story: A Matter of the Heart

Brenden was only days old when he was diagnosed with a hole in his heart. His parents traveled all the way from Naples on the West Coast of Florida to plan for his surgery with the Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

A Winning Spirit: Aspen's Road to Recovery

11-year-old Aspen was playing in the water when she hit her head on the shallow ocean floor. The hit caused a fracture of the C-5 vertebrae in her neck. For three long months, Aspen wore a neck brace 24 hours a day as her doctor waited to see if her fracture would heal without surgery.

Alanis' Story

After a healthy delivery of her newborn baby girl Alanis, Ana was told that she was born with a small caramel colored birthmark on her arm. Not immediately alarmed by the news, Ana waited for their first appointment with the pediatrician who then referred them to Ana Margarita Duarte, MD, Director of the Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

May Patient of the Month: Isabella

At only 7 years old, Isabella began to complain about having back pains. Unable to run and play with her friends, or even walk at times, her mother decided it was time to visit an orthopedist. After several blood tests and an MRI, it was determined that Isabella had leukemia.

April Patient of the Month: Joshua

Joshua had an immune deficiency called immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency – the most common immune deficiency amongst children. One out of 200 children will have IgA deficiency. The second condition Joshua had was low white blood cells caused by a viral infection, presenting as if he had leukemia.


The Muñoz Family Thank You Letter

My first impressions: the doctor was someone with a clear vision, extremely knowledgeable, caring, and well liked and respected by your colleagues.  Most importantly, someone willing to coordinate care across the country for Olivia. Read the Muñoz family's thank you letter to our neurosurgery team.

March Patient of the Month: Helia

When Helia was 12 years old, her mother began to notice she was always very thirsty and drinking more water than usual. It got to the point that Helia was losing sleep due to all the weight she gained, so her mother decided to consult with a specialist.

Saving Teegan: From Minnesota to Miami in Search of Hope

Though Teegan grew only a few pounds during her first three months, a stark contrast to her twin sister, the critically ill baby stunned her family and pediatrician with each day she survived. Her will to live spurred her family to search for a miracle.

Peyton's Airway Reconstruction Journey

Peyton was born with a congenital heart defect that led her to spend months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Like many infants who are born premature and with congenital health issues, Peyton had to undergo a tracheostomy to help her breathe and eat.
Thanks to advances in medicine, Peyton recently underwent airway reconstruction surgery, performed by pediatric otolaryngologist Dr. Brian Ho, and can now breathe on her own.

Willow's Journey to a Healthy Heart

"Hearing about any type of unexpected diagnosis can be incredibly overwhelming for parents, let alone an unusual or rare abnormality like a tumor in their child's heart," said Dr. Guleserian. "Thankfully we were able to provide reassurance to the Albans because of our program's experience in treating these types of abnormalities." Willow's one special request for her surgery was to take her plush bunny into the operating room. 

February Patient of the Month: Chad

While on a father-son fishing trip in the Florida Keys, Chad, 3, was playing and swinging from the rope of a nautical wood pole when the 200-pound object came crashing down onto his chest, sending him into a state of cardiac arrest.


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