Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions

Champions is a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals program that brings attention to the important work being done at its 170 children’s hospitals. It does this by honoring 51 remarkable kids who have faced severe medical challenges, and helping them tell their stories.

The Champions program designates a child in every state who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The Champions represent the nearly 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year. The 2011 Champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, organ transplants and traumas, as well as various types of cancer.

The Champions travel for a week in October, first to Washington, D.C., where they traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. They then take a private chartered flight, provided by Delta Air Lines, to Orlando, Fla. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, hospital representatives and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stephen and Matthew's Story

Stephen and Matthew
Age 3

Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center

Severe Prematurity

Tim and Dana Huffman were told that they would never be able to conceive, so they were overjoyed to learn they were pregnant with twins. That joy was cut short when, four months before her due date, Dana went into labor. Stephen and Matthew came into the world at 24 weeks gestation, each weighing less than one-and-a-half pounds. The family was in for the fight for their lives.

The tiny babies faced a host of medical problems. Both were anemic and needed multiple blood transfusions. Their organs were not fully developed – especially their vulnerable lungs and eyes. Both babies suffered ventricular brain bleeds. Stephen’s was categorized as a II and Matthew’s a IV, which is considered catastrophic. Doctors told the Huffmans the boys would face life long health and developmental problems. Matthew may never walk or speak.

But both boys were fighters and after three months in the NICU, they finally went home. Now toddlers, you would never guess all that they had gone through. Although Matthew wears glasses, their early medical struggles have been overcome. Today, Stephen and Matthew are active little boys that keep their parents constantly on the move. They are truly miracles in every way.