In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, On the Pulse shares a heart-wrenching story about a mother whose son suffered debilitating injuries at the hands of a babysitter. Through the pain and daily struggle of caring for a fully disabled child, she has become a driving force for advocacy and awareness for child abuse prevention.
What began as a normal day for Jamie Thompson, ended in a tragedy that would forever change her life.
On May 20, 2010, Thompson received an unexpected call at work. It was her 8-month-old son’s babysitter.
“I was told he wasn’t breathing and paramedics had arrived to the babysitter’s home to help resuscitate him,” said Thompson. “As I frantically left work, I received a second call — this time from my husband.”
With news from her husband that her son, Colby, was not responding, Jamie drove straight to Seattle Children’s where he was urgently transported to by helicopter.
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Longtime Seattle Children’s patient Makenna Schwab excitedly waits to cut the the ribbon off the low dose radiation X-ray machine she raised $25,000 for.
Patients at Seattle Children’s are benefiting from yet another fundraising project from 14-year-old Makenna Schwab, whose fearless determination in raising thousands of dollars has allowed the hospital to purchase a special X-ray machine to help treat other kids like her.
To celebrate Makenna’s latest fundraising project, which collected $25,000 for the purchase of a 3D low dose radiation X-ray machine called the EOS, Seattle Children’s threw her a heartfelt thank you party. At her celebration, there was no shortage of smiles, laughter and hugs — all for one special teen whose enthusiasm to give is boundless.
“This was more than I ever expected,” said Makenna. “It was so great seeing everyone who has supported me over the years in one room. It made me feel really special.”
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Rap artist Desiigner and seven-year-old cancer patient Ewan Lill show off their superhero artwork.
On Monday, patients in Seattle Children’s Cancer Unit were given the special opportunity to meet a rap superstar and collect some stylish swag from Love Your Melon, an apparel brand that has given more than 90,000 hats to kids battling cancer and over $2.6 million to support pediatric cancer research.
After wrapping up his Seattle concert the night before, Desiigner, best known for his Billboard chart-topping song “Panda”, made a surprise pit stop to visit kids at Seattle Children’s. During his visit, Desiigner passed out Love Your Melon hats and met with patients, giving impromptu rap performances and creating colorful superheroes.
“It’s a blessing being able to visit these kids,” said Desiigner. “I want to do what I can to make them happy, and working with Love Your Melon is helping me do that.”
Penny Lees, clinical manager of Seattle Children’s Child Life Department, was thrilled when she learned Love Your Melon and Desiigner wanted to spread their generosity to the hospital’s young cancer patients.
“The work that Love Your Melon is doing to help to raise awareness for childhood cancer is incredibly impactful,” said Lees. “Their interest in coming to the hospital to meet the kids who inspire their mission is a wonderful thing to see.”
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Lynch posed for a photo with Ciara after getting a makeover. Photo credit: Corky Trewin
Today, patients at Seattle Children’s were pampered thanks to Ciara, who along with her glam squad, surprised children at the hospital with complimentary makeovers.
“Every time I visit Seattle Children’s, I see how strong these children are who are going through such difficult battles,” said Ciara. “I wanted to help make them feel as strong and beautiful as they are to me, and to let them know I’m thinking about them. I often hear that I inspire these kids, but they’re really the ones that inspire me. They are the real superheroes of today.”
Ciara, who often visits Seattle Children’s with her husband, Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson, wanted to organize an event to help make kids at the hospital feel beautiful – both inside and out. And so, for the day, Seattle Children’s was transformed into a beauty salon for “Ciara’s Makeover Monday by Revlon.” Read full post »
Gio Caro, 6, helped bring holiday cheer to patients at Seattle Children’s.
The holidays arrived early this year for families at Seattle Children’s and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC). Amazon brightened the day for patients and families by making one of their largest – and most special – deliveries of the year.
“We so appreciate the important work Seattle Children’s and Odessa Brown does for families in our Seattle community,” said Sam Kennedy, an Amazon spokesperson. “We are proud to give back to such amazing organizations and to put a smile on people’s faces during this special time of year.”
The hospital was filled with excitement as patients and families gathered around a giant Amazon gift box in the inpatient playroom at the hospital. Giomoni (Gio) Caro, 6, a long-time patient at Seattle Children’s, was given the honor of unveiling what was inside the box – a brand new Kindle For Kids Bundle with the latest E-reader for every child in the hospital and a $50 gift card for families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – and was designated as an “Elf for a Day” to help spread holiday cheer throughout the hospital. Read full post »
Reef, 16 months old, poses for a photo with Richard Sherman.
Blue Tuesday at Seattle Children’s was a little more spirited today thanks to a special visit from the Seattle Seahawks players and members of the Sea Gals. Patients and families were all smiles as they got to meet their favorite football players during the team’s annual Captain’s Blitz visit.
“It was so exciting,” said Joanna Gromadzki. Gromadzki’s 16-month-old son, Reef Gromadzki-Johnson, has been a patient since he was 2 months old after he was diagnosed with pulmonary vein stenosis. “Seattle Children’s is like a second home to us, we’ve been here for so long. Today was special. We’re huge fans of the Seahawks!”
The Seahawks visit really brightened the day for Reef and other 12s in the hospital, and brought holiday cheer to some young and loyal fans. Read full post »
Skyler, 17, poses with a sock puppet he designed.
When Skyler Hamilton was born, his mother called him her miracle baby. He was perfect.
It wasn’t until he turned 7 years old when the family noticed something wasn’t quite right. What started as a limp quickly progressed into something unimaginable.
Three months later, Skyler was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumor, medulloblastoma.
On August 13, 2006, Skyler was admitted to Seattle Children’s. Four days later, he had surgery to have the tumor removed.
“His tumor was so advanced,” said Margaret Hamilton, Skyler’s mom. “It was the worst nightmare you could imagine.” Read full post »
Ambassador Chris Stevens’ life was formed by global experiences, and a new endowment in his memory at Seattle Children’s intends to preserve his legacy by connecting pediatricians in Seattle with pediatricians abroad.
When Dr. Anne Stevens thinks of her brother, she remembers his wide-eyed awe about the world around him. That love of discovery is what led her brother, former Ambassador Chris Stevens, to a career in diplomacy with the U.S. State Department.
“Chris was a big believer in international exchange and experiences,” said Stevens, a pediatric rheumatologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “His life was formed by global experiences, and he also inspired my little brother, sister and I to learn foreign languages and study abroad.”
Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans died in the line of service during a tragic attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.
Now, a newly funded endowment at Seattle Children’s will preserve his legacy of cultural understanding with a medical exchange that connects pediatricians in Seattle to pediatricians abroad through an intensive training and education program. Read full post »
The War for the Cure was created to help raise awareness, as well as funds, in the fight against childhood cancer.
Cassandra (Cassi) White was on an airplane when the words began to flow. White was a thousand miles away from Seattle Children’s, where she works as a pediatric cancer care nurse, when she began to piece together a song for the kids who never leave her heart – kids fighting cancer.
“The words came pouring out of me,” said White. “I started thinking about the kids that I see at work every day and the words just kept coming.”
White wanted others to see inside her world. She wanted to educate people about the struggles these courageous children face each day.
“A lot of people have a connection to cancer in someway,” said White. “The song gives a real look into that world. It provides a window of what these kids go through, and gives people something they can relate to.” Read full post »
Greta Oberhofer’s leukemia is in remission thanks to T-cell immunotherapy developed at Seattle Children’s.
Greta Oberhofer survived a bone marrow transplant for leukemia when she was just 8 months old — but the side effects nearly killed her. Then, six months later, her family’s worst fears came to life.
“My husband put the doctor on speaker phone — he told me Greta relapsed and that her prognosis was bad,” remembers her mother, Maggie Oberhofer. “She had already suffered so much with the chemotherapy and transplant, and we didn’t want to put her through that again. We didn’t know what to do.”
The Oberhofers — who live in Portland — were considering hospice for Greta. Then they heard that Seattle Children’s Dr. Rebecca Gardner was testing a therapy that uses reprogrammed immune cells to attack certain kinds of leukemia.
“Dr. Gardner said not to give up because her therapy was putting kids like Greta in remission, and that the side effects were often a lot easier to tolerate,” Oberhofer says. “We suddenly had a way forward.”
A few months later, the Oberhofers watched Greta’s reprogrammed cells drip into her body. Two weeks after that, her cancer was in remission.
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