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.

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.

10/01/2018

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.
 

09/24/2018

Bianca’s Journey to Being Pain Free

Bianca suffered from pain and a severe bowleg deformity for many years as a result of Blount’s disease, a growth disorder that affects the bones in children and young adults.

09/24/2018

Mason's Story: Nicklaus Children's Makes the Difference for Child with Traumatic Brain Injury

Seeing a baby boy intubated, hooked up to a maze of machines, and with IV pumps snaking out of his tiny arms is an incredibly heartbreaking and terrifying experience. The Nicklaus Children’s staff was not only caring and friendly, but knowledgeable and explained everything to us in detail. Meeting the neurosurgery team brought us great comfort because they were confident and calm—they won our trust immediately.

09/21/2018

Oscar Uses His Experience to Help Others Prevent Pain

Oscar, 20,  was born with Sickle Cell Disease, a condition that affects red blood cells (sickle cell anemia) and blockage of blood flow causing pain. The pain is often so severe; patients suffer painful bouts known as sickle cell crisis and often require hospitalization.

09/21/2018

Infant flown from Puerto Rico days after Hurricane Maria for Lifesaving Surgery

Naialee Perez had just given birth to her first child, a baby boy named Liam, when a category five hurricane was making its way towards her hometown in the island of Puerto Rico. Liam was on a ventilator and undergoing treatment for a congenital heart defect in Hospital del Niño in San Juan while those on the island prepared for what would become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in its history.

09/19/2018

September Patient of the Month: Mateo

When Mateo was just two years old, his parents were shocked to discover that their toddler developed leukemia. They met with the hematology and oncology specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and began a treatment protocol that brought Mateo back to health—along with some entertainment from his spirited little sister! Mateo, now 10, is a healthy, typical kid who loves running around with his friends.

09/04/2018

August Patient of the Month: Luife

While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect. Shortly after birth, Luife was taken by ambulance to the cardiac team at Nicklaus Children’s. The pediatric cardiology team took Luife’s heart apart, piece by delicate piece, and successfully, put it back together. Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” with pride. 

08/17/2018

Harry's Badge of Honor

Harry was admitted for heart surgery when he was only three years old. The life saving surgery and care he received in 1988, in what was then Miami Children's Hospital, has resulted in a fulfilling and accomplished adult life for this aspiring public servant.

08/08/2018

July Patient of the Month: Justin

The moment Justin was born, his mother and father were faced with the most daunting and challenging experience any parent can imagine. Just hours after birth, Justin was airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for more specialized pediatric care. Having been diagnosed with pulmonary atresia and tetralogy of Fallot, he required immediate attention before it was too late.

07/25/2018

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

March Patient of the Month: Theodore

Meet our March Patient of the Month, Theodore. Theodore was diagnosed with cleft palate, cleft lip and a heart problem when he was only 18 weeks old. After he was born, Theodore had to be admitted into the NICU to be able to perform the necessary surgeries for him to live a healthy life.

03/15/2018

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

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From the Newsdesk

Dr. Gereige receives National Oral Health Service Award
Congratulations to Rani Gereige, MD, MPH, FAAP who received the AAP Section on Oral Health National Oral Health Service Award for working to advance children's oral health through education, medical/dental collaboration, and advocacy.
Fetal Care Center Special Delivery Unit Expected to Open in Summer of 2019
We are pleased to announce the Fetal Care Center’s special delivery unit is expected to open in the summer of 2019. This special delivery unit will offer a smooth transfer of care and access to our network of pediatric subspecialists and our three pediatric intensive care units.
445 students receive free EKG screenings
The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s, in conjunction with the Breanna Vergara Foundation, hosted an EKG screening at St. Brendan Catholic Elementary School as part of the ongoing effort to detect congenital conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac death in children.
Specialists in Cerebral Palsy attend AACPDM Annual Meeting
Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Monica Payares-Lizano attended the 72nd American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) Annual Meeting this month, joined by Nicklaus Children’s physical therapists Cheryl Gimenez, Elena Lopez-Trigo and Lisa Scher.
Dr. Adele Schneider retires from Jewish Genetics Work

Dr. Schneider was among a pioneering group of doctors who made screening for Jewish genetic diseases more commonplace. By screening patients for genetic diseases and then using in vitro fertilization, she helped ensure babies would not be born with these diseases. 

When she started, Jewish genetic screenings included five diseases. Now they screen for more than 200, 96 of which apply to Jewish communities.