Patient Success Stories

Read your heart-warming stories of hope in the face of despair, compassion in the face of suffering, courage in the face of adversity.

Haley's Success Story

Growing up, Haley Gantt suffered from scoliosis. She had to wear a back brace to prevent her curve from worsening, but unfortunately, she was later told that a spinal fusion surgery would have to be considered because the brace had failed to prevent the curve from progressing. She fought hard and got through it. An accomplished basketball player, Haley is now on her way to playing Division II basketball for Biola University in Southern California.

07/03/2018

Daniella Celebrates her Ninth Birthday by Advocating for Children’s Health

On this very same day nine years ago, Daniella Alvarez was diagnosed Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer. The news came on June 26, 2009, her second birthday. Daniella endured years of brain surgeries, aggressive chemotherapies, radiation, imaging scans, multiple visits to intensive care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She is now cancer free thanks to a pediatric clinical trial made possible through research funding.

06/26/2018

June Patient of the Month: Victoria

Meet Victoria, our June Patient of the Month! Before birth, Victoria, was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). While Victoria's mother was pregnant with her, the left side of her heart did not form correctly, causing an urgent need for surgery just after birth to help restore its function, or Victoria would die. Fast-forward to today, and Victoria, now a teenager, is leading a healthy life with her family in South Florida. She enjoys music and playing basketball with her siblings.

06/01/2018

Christina's Success Story

Christina was born with a variety of medical complications and congenital heart defects. She is now a 23 year pursuing a dental career. The Heart Program and Nicklaus Children's Hospital provided the care she needed when she was a baby, and for that, they will always hold a special place in her heart.

05/31/2018

New Device Helps Children with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy Manage Seizures

Grant is the first pediatric patient in South Florida to utilize the SenTiva VNS device, which is currently the smallest and lightest responsive therapy for epilepsy available on the market. The device, used in combination with epilepsy medications, has been shown to be effective in reducing seizure frequency and duration. 

04/25/2018

April Patient of the Month: Lucky

Lucky started going to physical therapy when he was two because of the delays with sitting up and rolling over. His physical therapist noticed that the problem was not muscular but skeletal, a condition that she couldn't treat. The pediatrician told Janie and Greg, Lucky’s parents, about Nicklaus Children's Hospital. When Janie and Greg visited Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, they met Dr. Harry L Shufflebarger, Pediatric Spinal Surgery Director. He performed the necessary surgeries and now Lucky can enjoy a healthy life.

04/09/2018

Outpatient Surgery Success Story

Caludell noticed that 6 of her 11 children had belly buttons that stuck out, and they seemed to become more pronounced around the time they entered kindergarten. When her daughters started to become self-concious about how their belly buttons looked, Claudell was able to schedule all 6 umbilical repair surgeries on the same day at the Miami Children's  Ambulatory Surgery Center.

02/28/2018

Ryan's ACL Surgery Success Story

Our 10 year old son, Ryan, tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left leg this past summer. I have frequently been asked, isn’t 10 years old very young to tear an ACL? Yes, for children that young, it is rare, but not unheard of. 

01/24/2018

Lucas’ Success Story

August 15, 2017 was the day my son Lucas was admitted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for purposes of treating uncontrollable seizures. After being admitted at a previous children’s hospital on three consecutive occasions and many EEGs later, we were referred to Nicklaus Children’s by a neurologist.

01/15/2018

December Patient of the Month: Frankie

What was supposed to be a fun day for Frankie and his sister with their uncle quickly took an unexpected and tragic turn. Frankie was kicked in the head by a horse at the ranch they were visiting, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. 

12/04/2017

Baby Carter's Story

Baby Carter had a unique anomaly where his intestines stay out of his abdomen. With the help of the specialists of The Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Carter is now able to live a healthy and normal life.

11/09/2017

New treatment labeled "a game changer" for patients with diabetes

Nicklaus Children’s Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient Center kicked off National Diabetes Month by introducing a new treatment option for children with Type 1 diabetes, the Medtronic MiniMed 670G system, sometimes called an “artificial pancreas,” consistently measures blood sugar, predicts when a rise or fall is going to occur, and adjusts itself to deliver precise doses of insulin, requiring minimal interaction from the patient

11/03/2017

November Patient of the Month: Victoria

Victoria was born in Venezuela with a congenital heart defect, but was asymptomatic until she was 10 years old. Her cardiologist at the time said she needed urgent surgery, but everything did not go as planned. A few months later, after Victoria’s health had been steadily deteriorating, her mom resorted to finding a hospital outside of the country to treat Victoria, and found Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

11/03/2017

Camila Dances Away from Congenital Heart Disease

Camila Parra, 17, is too busy dancing to think about the fact that she could have become a tragic statistic. She had been feeling some fatigue when participating in her rigorous dance program. After a free heart screening, Camila and her mother were stunned to learn that the teen's echocardiogram was abnormal.

10/18/2017

October Patient of the Month: Mariana

Meet our October Patient of the Month, Mariana. Mariana was born with Crouzon syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents the skull from growing normally. For Mariana, it also caused difficulties with her breathing, but unfortunately, in Venezuela, where Mariana was born, they did not have the resources to treat her condition.

09/28/2017

Harper's Success Story

When Harper was diagnosed with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome shortly after birth, her family knew they wanted the best team possible for her tongue reduction surgery. Harper now leads a limitless life thanks to Dr. Chad Perlyn, an expert in treating macroglossia, and the Craniofacial Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

08/31/2017

A happy surgical outcome for family of infant with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome

Alyssa Caulley talks about her experiences at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, where she decided to have her daughter's surgery for Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS).

08/29/2017

Baby Grace Beats All Odds Despite Rocky Start to Life

Grace was transferred to Nicklaus Children’s for what referring doctors believed were complications associated with neonatal sepsis. Soon after, the care team learned Grace had an enlarged failing heart due to hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a complex congenital heart defect that essentially means the baby was born with half a heart. 

08/28/2017

August Patient of the Month: Piero

Meet our August Patient of the Month, Piero. Born at just 27 weeks old, Piero had to be admitted into the NICU at the hospital where he was born and was intubated to allow his lungs to continue developing.

08/02/2017

Boy with Rare, Genetic Syndrome Returns Home to Trinidad After Complex Craniofacial Surgery

A team of surgeons from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Craniofacial Center performed a complex reconstructive surgery on a seven year-old child that will improve his vision and ability to eat, as well as his appearance and overall quality of life.

07/19/2017

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From the Newsdesk

Diabetic children learn about nutrition and keeping healthy at Camp Roaring Sun
Camp Roaring Sun, which began Monday and runs through Friday, allowed children ages 6 through 12 to take part in traditional camp activities such as swimming, playing outside, and going to a baseball game. All the activities are monitored by Nicklaus pediatric endocrinology nurses to ensure a safe and healthy environment.
Siblings of Cancer Patients enjoy a Fun Filled Day
More than two dozen children attended the Bear Hug camp at Nicklaus Children's last week. This day camp is for siblings of pediatric cancer patients to encourage socialization among peers and help them gain insight on their siblings' care journey. 
New anesthesia offering helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain
In this news story Dr. Kristine Guleserian, renowned heart surgeon, talk about Exparel. Exparel is a new anesthesia offering that helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain after heart surgery. 13 year-old Jessica Garcia, born with a congenital heart defect (VSD) was the first pediatric patient to use this treatment.
Protecting Little Ones from Bug Bites
The summer season is a time for outdoor fun and recreation, especially for families of school-age children.  However, the warmer weather often brings an unwelcome nuisance, bugs. The best way to help prevent insect bites to use insect repellant containing DEET products and to cover exposed skin with long sleeves and pants.
Congratulations, Susan!
Congratulations to Susan Fornaris, Administrative Director of Medical Surgical and Nursing Administration at Nicklaus Children’s, on being elected President of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables.