On the Pulse

Conjoined Twin Treated at Seattle Children’s Says ‘Thank You’ to Russell Wilson

Like many Seattle natives, 22-year-old Kevin Mick is a passionate Seahawks fan. Despite now living in Alma, Ark., Mick said the Hawks will always be his team, not just for their athletic talents, but for their actions off the field as well.

“The fact that Russell Wilson takes the time to visit patients every week at Seattle Children’s is amazing,” Mick said. “I know first-hand how much these special visits mean to a sick child.”

Growing up at Seattle Children’s

Kevin Mick grew up in Seattle as a dedicated Seahawks fan. Today, he says "Thank you" to Russell Wilson for supporting patients at Seattle Children's.

Kevin Mick grew up in Seattle as a dedicated Seahawks fan. Today, he says “Thank you” to Russell Wilson for supporting patients at Seattle Children’s.

Mick was a patient at Seattle Children’s for the first 12 years of his life after being born a conjoined twin.
In June of 1992, Mick’s parents, Rex and Debra, were living in Kirkland and found out Debra was pregnant. At a seven-week ultrasound, the parents learned they were having twins after doctors heard two heartbeats. Two months later, they learned their two sons were conjoined at their abdomens. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Wishes the Seahawks Good Luck, Raises 12th Man Flag

Patients, families and staff gathered together at the hospital main campus today to raise the 12th Man flag and cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

Patients, families and staff gathered together at the hospital main campus today to raise the 12th Man flag and cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle Children’s has received incredible support from the Seattle Seahawks. Not only does quarterback Russell Wilson make weekly visits to our patients and families, but many other Seahawk players, the Sea Gals and even the Seahawks’ mascot Blitz have spread joy throughout the hospital!

To celebrate the Seahawks’ return to the Super Bowl, Seattle Children’s patients, families and hospital staff showed their Seahawks pride today by coming together in their brightest and bluest attire and raising the 12th Man Flag outside the hospital’s main campus.

“We got to meet Russell and many of the other Seahawks over Christmas,” said Katie O’Day. Her 7-year-old daughter Kennedy is currently receiving cancer treatment at Seattle Children’s and helped raise the 12th Man flag today. “One player even hung out and played video games with her for a half hour! It’s was so amazing that they took the time to brighten up her day. It made coming in for chemotherapy much easier!” Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Aims to Unravel the Mysteries of Kawasaki Disease

Jennifer Bevaart's son William was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease in September, 2014.

Jennifer Bevaart’s son William was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease in September, 2014.

In honor of National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day, we are sharing the story of William, a 10-year-old boy who lives with the disease, and why Seattle Children’s, an international leader in Kawasaki disease research, is the best place for children like William to receive treatment.

In September, Jennifer Bevaart’s son William developed a fever that lasted for days. He was lethargic, had a rash on his chest and his eyes were bloodshot. Over the next two weeks, Bevaart took William to at least four different specialists, each of whom suggested a different diagnosis: a sinus infection, walking pneumonia, bronchitis, even scarlet fever. Each treatment failed to ease William’s symptoms. He went from an active, tae kwon do enthusiast to a weak boy who was too weak to walk even the short distance to the mailbox without lying down to rest.

“Call it mother’s intuition, but I just knew something was very wrong with my son,” Bevaart said. “I felt like I was watching him die.” Read full post »

The Hunger Games: How a Team at Children’s Uses Hunger to Teach Kids to Eat

Lydia digs in.

Lydia digs in.

Last April, at the age of 12, Lydia Vaughan felt hungry for the first time.

The new sensation – along with support from her family and a team of specialists at Seattle Children’s – helped her learn to do in two weeks what she had never done before: put food in her mouth and swallow it. Read full post »

Russell Wilson: I Am All In

Russell Wilson visits patients and their families at Seattle Children's each Tuesday.

Russell Wilson visits patients and their families at Seattle Children’s each Tuesday.

Each Tuesday, the hospital is decked out in blue and the halls are buzzing with excitement as Russell Wilson stops by to visit with our patients. In this blog, Russell shares why he is so dedicated to supporting the families at Seattle Children’s. 

Sunday is game day for me, but my best day is Tuesday when I visit Seattle Children’s. All the amazing opportunities I’ve had on the field can’t compare to helping kids whose lives are on the line.

I started volunteering a couple of years ago. I’m humbled by the courage of the patients and families I meet and proud to witness the amazing work of the nurses and doctors who care for them.

Hospitals aren’t scary for me. I spent a lot of time visiting my dad in one before complications from diabetes took his life in 2010. He was only 55 years old. His experiences helped me better understand the unique challenges that hospitalized children and their families face. Their strength has been an inspiration to me. Read full post »

Electricity, Dishwashers and What Really Matters

Dr. Abby Rosenberg, medical leader of Seattle Children's Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program

Dr. Abby Rosenberg, medical leader of Seattle Children’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program

This past week, my 10-year-old son was assigned a science experiment to conduct at home: exist for a full hour without electricity. During our family’s allotted hour, some things became incredibly difficult (imagine hand-washing dinner dishes in darkness). But the rest became wonderfully easy. With no way to do routine activities involving smartphones, TVs, computers, or other electronics, we just sat, talked and played board games by candlelight.

My son’s conclusion from this assignment? Without electricity, life is richer. He commented that he appreciated this opportunity to just be present and be together. “It’s different,” he explained. “In a weird way, electricity takes us away from each other. When you remove the electricity, you spend more time doing what’s important to you – what matters. You realize how lucky you are to have each other…and to have electricity the rest of the time.”

This was when my son’s simple assignment suddenly reminded me of what I see in and strive to teach our patients and families everyday. Read full post »

Sarah Wins $100,000 Scholarship, Showcases Football Skills After Spinal Fusion

Sarah and CheckThe Pac-12 Football Championship Game featuring the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona Wildcats was more than just a football game to 18-year-old Sarah Roundtree, a freshman at the University of Oregon. It was the chance of a lifetime: a shot to win a $100,000 scholarship. The only catch to winning, she had to compete against another individual in a football throwing contest in front of thousands of screaming football fans at the championship game.

What makes Roundtree’s story so incredible isn’t only the fact that she won; it’s her journey to the championship that makes her special. Less than a year ago, Roundtree was at Seattle Children’s Hospital undergoing an operation to fix two 50 degree curves in her spine.

“Looking back at the past year, I can’t believe I’m where I am today,” said Roundtree. Read full post »

Poke and Press: Patients Benefit From New Acupuncture Program

Jaime Ralston-Wilson (left) and Elizabeth (Liz) Artola

Jaime Ralston-Wilson (left) and Elizabeth (Liz) Artola

When Gailon Wixson Pursley came to Seattle Children’s, she was in so much pain she couldn’t walk. At 19 years old, Gailon was diagnosed with sarcoma, an aggressive cancerous tumor in her hip flexor muscle.

Gailon’s treatment plan included surgery to remove the large tumor, radiation and chemotherapy, along with a long list of medications to help manage the side effects of her diagnosis and treatments.

Gailon’s mom, Yvette Wixson, asked whether another treatment was available for her daughter: acupuncture. To Yvette’s delight, the answer was yes.

Seattle Children’s inpatient acupuncture program began as a six-month pilot in January 2014. During the pilot, acupuncturists were available four hours a day, five days a week. Before the pilot, acupuncture was available to outpatients, but only on a sporadic, ad-hoc basis for inpatients. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Top Accomplishments of 2014

Hendricks Headshot 2

Now that the halls have been decked and the most wonderful time of the year is over, Dr. Jim Hendricks, president of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, took down the holiday tinsel from his work station and spent a moment reflecting on the research institute’s greatest accomplishments of 2014.

There were so many exciting developments over the past year that it’s impossible to fit them all in one short list, but here are some outstanding achievements that come to mind.

  • Our investigators had an incredibly successful year when it comes to funding, including government, nonprofit and industry sources. Our total funding increased from $76 million in fiscal year 2013 to nearly $92 million in fiscal year 2014, which represents a 21% increase. This success is a testament to the talent of our investigators considering that the competition for federal grants has increased steadily as the available federal funding has decreased. This funding will help us get closer to finding more treatments and cures for pediatric diseases.
  • We continued our first T cell cancer immunotherapy clinical trial this year and opened enrollment for two additional trials. This ground-breaking therapy reprograms the body’s infection-fighting T cells to find and destroy cancer cells with minimal side effects. While our first trial, PLAT-01, continues treating patients with relapsed leukemia, a second trial treating leukemia patients with T cell immunotherapy has had great success thus far. Additionally, a new trial opened in November to treat neuroblastoma using immunotherapy.

Read full post »

Pushing Limits, Saving Lives

As we head into the New Year, we’d like to reflect on some of the incredible clinical advancements of 2014 that show how our doctors have gone the extra mile for our patients.

In the Children’s HealthLink Special video above, watch how futuristic medicine has saved the lives of the littlest patients at Seattle Children’s. From 3D-printed heart models to liquid ventilation, doctors and families reveal the amazing benefits of innovative treatments that challenge the status quo. Read full post »