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.

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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.


A Child's Journey - Olivia's Story

Olivia was born with a congenital heart defect, her first open heart surgery was scheduled just days after she took her first breath. Olivia's parents placed their trust in the hands of The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

Experts at Nicklaus Children's Hospital help dancers get safely back on their feet

Dancing is a beautiful form of expression but it can be physically taxing on the body, especially for children and adolescents. The Sports Health Center at Nicklaus Children's helped Amber recover from her injury and return to dancing. In fact, Amber had the opportunity to dance in the Latin Grammy Awards last fall. 

South Florida surgeon helps children with airway disorders breathe easy

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. Among the many complications these little ones face are airway disorders. Thanks to airway reconstruction performed by Dr. Brian Ho, little Elijah is able to breathe on his own without the support of a medical device.

January Patient of the Month: Layla

When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, acting as substitute mothers and making sure she was well cared for.

December Patient of the Month: Charlie

After surviving a high-risk pregnancy with a set of twins, the Strombom’s were faced with yet another complication. Their third child, an unborn baby named Charlie, was diagnosed with a congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) and underwent two in utero interventions to allow for a full and healthy gestation period. Once delivered, the LifeFlight team from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was on stand-by to transport Charlie from West Palm Beach to Miami.


Logan's Journey with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Logan Perry was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a rare birth defect in which te diaphragm does not develop properly. Thanks to the experts at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Logan had corrective surgery and is developing into a rambunctious toddler. 

October Patient of the Month: Gabriela

Following an emergency C-section, Gabriela’s mother, Katherine, was shocked to see that her new baby was missing part of her face. Gabriela was born with a cleft lip and palate. Katherine researched for hours to find the best doctors to fix her daughter’s condition and came upon the craniofacial team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Li Travels all the way from Shanghai to Nicklaus Children’s for Management of his Complex Heart Condition

Li Hongyang, 37, traveled all the way from his hometown of Shanghai China to find the best possible care for his complex heart condition. What he did not expect is that he would receive his lifesaving treatment at a children’s hospital.
 

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