On the Pulse

No Distance Too Far; How Johanna’s Unique Experience Drove Her to Healthcare

PART THREE: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Top: After receiving treatment at Seattle Children’s for chronic pain and arthritis, Johanna celebrated her 15th birthday. Bottom: Today, Johanna and her husband, Carlos.

Seattle Children’s has been part of Johanna Sánchez-Vargas’s life since she was 13 years old. Her family immigrated from Guerrero, Mexico to a small agricultural town in the Yakima Valley. There, the family planted roots and started working as farmworkers.

Throughout her childhood, Sánchez-Vargas experienced chronic pain and arthritis, and was treated in Seattle Children’s Rheumatology Program for spondyloarthropathies, a group of inflammatory diseases of the joints and areas where tendons attach to bones. It typically affects the lower part of a child’s body, including the hips, knees and ankles.

“Predominantly, I had persistent pain that hindered my ability to walk,” she said. “As a kid, I struggled with being visibly disabled. I remember going through the halls of my middle school with my wheelchair and feeling isolated for being different.”

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Updated (Bivalent) COVID-19 Vaccines Are Now Available for Kids Who Are 6 Months to 5 Years Old

Beginning Dec. 14, Seattle Children’s began offering updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 6 months to 5 years old at our hospital campus.

The Moderna bivalent vaccine is available as a booster to children aged 6 months to 5 who have received two doses of the monovalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series.

The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine is available to children aged 6 months to 4 years as a third dose to those who have not completed their three-dose primary Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is not yet approved for use as a booster for this age group.

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Little ‘Legend’ With Rare Facial Condition Travels Almost 5000 Miles for Life-Changing Surgeries at Seattle Children’s

7-year-old Loui Legend Heath Herriott was born with Treacher Collins syndrome

Located just under two hours from London in South East England is the coastal city of Brighton, home to a 7-year-old child who is truly living up to his name.

Loui Legend Heath Herriott was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the development of bones and tissues in the face, and occurs in about 1 in 50,000 newborns worldwide.

Though the severity of this syndrome varies from child to child, impacted areas often include the cheekbones, jaws, ears and eyelids, and children often have problems breathing, swallowing, chewing, hearing and with speech.

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New Hub for Autism and Behavioral Health Care, Seattle Children’s Magnuson, Opens Its Doors

Seattle Children’s Magnuson will serve as the new hub for autism and behavioral health care, outreach, training and research

On December 12, 2022, Seattle Children’s opened the doors to Seattle Children’s Magnuson, which will serve as the new hub for autism and behavioral health care, outreach, training and research, in order to better meet the needs of youth and families in our community.

“Seattle Children’s is working to create a future where every young person has access to evidence-based mental and behavioral health services when and where they need them,” said Dr. Carol Rockhill, Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics, Seattle Children’s. “Seattle Children’s Magnuson is a huge step in that direction, providing more treatment rooms and clinical spaces, better technology, gathering spaces for families and children with mental health care needs, autism and more.”

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Feeling Blue? What Parents Should Know About Seasonal Sadness in Kids and Teens

Winter can be a blue time of year for people of all ages, particularly as the days get shorter, darker and colder. These ‘winter blues’ can include feeling seasonally sad, irritable or fatigued, and can sometimes cause a decline in mood and motivation.

While it’s normal for all children to experience emotional ups and downs, including the winter blues, at least one in five kids will have a diagnosable mental health problem that needs treatment.

“People have high expectations around the holidays,” said Dr. Elizabeth McCauley, associate director of Seattle Children’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. “And sometimes those expectations are too high for what the holidays will bring. You get a mental image that things are supposed to be perfect, like in a story book. But the reality can be more down to earth.”

Here are some supportive ways that parents and caregivers can help their child or teen cope this winter, while staying alert to the signs and symptoms of mental health concerns that require expert care.

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New Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic Opens to Meet Growing Need, Provide Transformative Care for Patients

Pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with cancer and blood disorders in the greater Pacific Northwest will be cared for at a new state-of-the-art facility specifically designed for transformative, patient-centered care.

On Dec. 5, the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (CBDC) officially opened the doors to its new outpatient space at Forest B. Forest B is a 310,000 square-foot addition to Seattle Children’s hospital campus that continues to open in phases throughout 2022.

In addition, the new Seattle Children’s Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Clinic will join CBDC’s outpatient clinic space at Forest B. This move concludes the last phase of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance restructuring that created the Fred Hutchison Cancer Center and brings all pediatric cancer and blood disorders programs under one roof at Seattle Children’s — making it easier for patients and their families to receive the same exceptional and compassionate care from the dedicated teams at both organizations.

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How You Can Support Patient Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck

This is the second holiday season Seattle Children’s Building Maintenance Technician Jerome Ramos will spend with his family in the hospital.

 

His daughter has been in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant since July 2021.  Before coming to Seattle Children’s, 10-month-old Kaelyn, of Honolulu, Hawaii, was experiencing shortness of breath. 

 

When her face puffed up one day, her parents, Jerome and Christine Ramos, thought Kaelyn was having an allergic reaction and brought her to their local emergency department. Providers ruled out allergies, but recommended Kaelyn have an echocardiogram (ECHO) — a common test used to measure heart function.  

 

Shortly after leaving Kaelyn with the technician, Christine and Jerome heard a voice over the hospital paging system: “Code Blue, ECHO.”  “We were in shock,” Christine remembers. “She seemed fine when we dropped her off but when we got back to Kaelyn, we saw our child being resuscitated. It was devastating.”  

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‘I Know What it Feels Like’ | How Meagan’s Patient Journey Shaped Her Career Path

PART TWO: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Meagan Newman was a Seattle Children’s patient three decades ago

Meagan Newman’s relationship with Seattle Children’s began 30 years ago.

At just 3 years old, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and spent the next two and a half years in and out of the hospital for treatment.

“At the time, my dad was an anesthesia resident at the hospital and he suddenly had a glimpse into the day-to-day challenges of managing care for a child with cancer,” she explained.

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Talking to Kids and Teens about Risky Viral ‘Challenges’

As featured in Good Growing

It’s important for parents and kids to talk about the dangers of viral ‘challenges.’

These dangerous stunts can involve ingesting things, such as biting into a liquid laundry pod or eating an intensely hot pepper. Other challenges can include dares that urge kids to get high or faint by taking several antihistamines, hyperventilating or through choking.

Some challenges circulating in schools push kids to steal items such as the restroom soap dispenser or a teacher’s coffee cup. There are also dares that involve shoplifting specific items from a grocery store.

Not surprisingly, many of these challenges are designed to create sensational social media, urging kids to capture their stunts on video and share them online. These viral moments, however, have caused serious injury among youth, school suspension or even arrest and prosecution.

Social media often glamorizes these kinds of stunts, so tweens and teens can feel the temptation to try them. Youth do not always think through the real risks or consequences, and stunts that seem silly or fun can result in injury. This is true for games like the ‘duct tape challenge,’ which boasts the goal of escaping after being bound by friends in the super-sticky, heavy-duty tape.

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‘Cancer Doesn’t Always Win’ | Sofia’s Personal Connection to “Hope. Care. Cure.”

PART ONE: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Sofia Carlo was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma as a child

Shortly after Sofia Carlo finished the sixth grade, she started experiencing bouts of intense back pain.

“I went to see my primary care provider who thought I may be developing some scoliosis,” she recalled. “Upon receiving that scoliosis X-ray, I was referred for an MRI because the radiologist noted on my X-ray that I had osteophyte on a portion of my vertebra.”

Osteophyte is an abnormal bone growth, also known as a bone spur. Within a week of Carlo’s MRI, she was being treated at Seattle Children’s where she received a biopsy.

“That MRI revealed a mass growing in my spine. I was then officially diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma bone cancer at just 12 years old and was getting chemotherapy within two weeks of that original scoliosis X-ray,” she said.

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