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
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.
“One doctor recommended my mom have an abortion, but she never considered it,” Mick said.
Debra went into labor when she was just 24 weeks pregnant. Mick and his brother Kelly were born on Christmas Eve. The tiny babies’ organs were exposed, and Kelly passed away soon after birth. Mick was immediately transferred to Seattle Children’s to be surgically separated from his brother. Seattle Children’s is a national leader in successful surgery for conjoined twins.
“I survived the separation, but I wasn’t out of the woods yet,” Mick said. “I developed a blood infection and doctors told my parents that I might not survive the night. But thanks to the amazing doctors at Seattle Children’s, I did.”
Mick spent five weeks at Seattle Children’s before he was able to go home. His abdomen was open for the first 7 months of his life, with his organs completely exposed. Growing up, he had multiple surgeries at Seattle Children’s to manage his bowel function before he had a colostomy at age 9. In total, Mick had nearly 20 surgeries during his childhood.
“Kevin’s case was unique in that he was rushed into emergency surgery so quickly after birth,” said Dr. Robert Sawin, a surgeon who operated on Kevin later in his childhood. “He faced many reconstructive challenges growing up, but our top experts came together to care for him along the way.”
Cheering for the Seahawks
Despite all this, Mick lives an active, healthy life today. If you didn’t know his incredible health history, you would never imagine he was born a conjoined twin.
“I love working at Seattle Children’s because we get to care for kids like Kevin who overcome significant challenges at birth and go on to live courageous lives,” Sawin said.
These days, Mick spends much of his time playing football, basketball and golf – and he never misses a Seahawks game. He started following quarterback Russell Wilson on Instagram last year and realized that his favorite player visited patients at Seattle Children’s each week.
“I spent so much time at Seattle Children’s as a kid, and I remember how exciting it was when special visitors came to the hospital,” Mick said. “When I saw that Russell was visiting kids at the hospital I could not believe it. If the Seahawks quarterback had come by my room when I was a patient and hung out with me, that would have made my day!”
So we asked Mick, if you met Russell Wilson today, what would you say to him?
“I would thank him for allowing God to work through him to help these kids,” Mick said. “He is a bright light in their otherwise dim world.”
“Good luck on Sunday, and go get that ring!”