Today, U.S. News & World Report named Seattle Children’s to its Honor Roll of the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation.

The annual survey ranks hospitals on outcomes and quality-related information, including success in managing patients, commitment to best practices, nurse staffing ratios, safety, and availability of specialty care. Rankings also factor in each specialty’s reputation, as assessed by specialists at other institutions around the country.

For 2019, Seattle Children’s is ranked #10 out of nearly 200 pediatric hospitals that were evaluated. U.S. News & World Report ranks pediatric hospitals in 10 specialty areas. In every one, Seattle Children’s ranked in the top 20, and several ranked in the top 10:

  • Nephrology: #8
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology: #10
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery: #10
  • Cancer: #11
  • Pulmonary: #12
  • Neonatology: #14
  • Urology: #15
  • Cardiology and Heart Surgery: #16
  • Orthopedics: #17
  • Gastroenterology and GI Surgery: #18

In honor of this recognition, On the Pulse is looking back at a few top stories from 2019 that illustrate Seattle Children’s commitment to providing the highest quality of care to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. From overcoming incredible odds to celebrating monumental milestones, below are a few stories of hope and gratitude from Seattle Children’s patients and families.

Pursuing a new dream

When Madeline Boese was 14 years old, she dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina. Unfortunately, the curtain closed on her dream after an unthinkable diagnosis: cancer. In December 2006, she noticed a golf ball-sized lump on her left thigh underneath her pink tights. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

She underwent more than two years of grueling chemotherapy. It took a heavy toll on her body, but eventually she achieved remission. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of her medical journey. At the age of 21, the cancer came back, and she started another two and a half years of chemotherapy. In January 2016, Madeline was finally cancer-free again, but bad news loomed just around the corner. Less than a year later, she noticed a lump in her breast.

“At that point I just thought I was out of options,” Madeline said. “I just didn’t even want to deal with it.”

Her oncologist tirelessly searched for other possible treatment options and found Seattle Children’s Pediatric Leukemia Adoptive Therapy (PLAT-02) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy clinical trial for children and young adults with relapsed or refractory ALL. CAR T-cell immunotherapy is a promising experimental cancer therapy that reprograms a patient’s own T cells in their immune system to seek out and destroy cancer. To help Madeline achieve long-term remission, doctors also enrolled her in the PLAT-03 trial, a first-of-its kind pilot study that is showing promise in prolonging the persistence of the cancer-fighting CAR T cells.

Today, 26-year-old Madeline has put her 12-year battle with cancer behind her. Read more about Madeline’s life after cancer and her plans to become an oncology nurse.

For more than a decade, Seattle Children’s Cancer Center has been consistently ranked among the top pediatric oncology programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The Cancer Center is the top-ranked pediatric oncology program in the Northwest and is ranked #11 in the nation.

Celebrating first birthdays

Amani Jackson and her identical twin sister, Amira, share a rare and special bond. Only occurring in approximately 1% of all identical twin pregnancies, they are monoamniotic-monochorionic twins, or “mono-mono” twins for short.

27 weeks into her pregnancy, Stranje Pittman, was transferred from her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle where there was better access to the care Amani would need.

Born at 32 weeks with a rare birth defect called cloacal exstrophy, Amani was immediately whisked away from her twin and mother and taken to Seattle Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). She would have a long journey ahead.

Cloacal exstrophy is very rare and happens in about 1 in 200,000 to 400,000 births. Amani required complex medical care and a unique lifesaving surgery at Seattle Children’s.

On Jan. 26, 2019, a little more than 365 days after Amani and her sister Amira were first separated, they reunited for a special day – their first birthday.

Read how Seattle Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery, and Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine Program worked together to help Amani beat the odds.

With top-15 national rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Neonatology and Urology Programs are the highest-ranked programs in the Northwest. For more than a decade, Seattle Children’s has been ranked among the top pediatric neonatology and urology programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Dancing again after stroke

The lopsided smile on Makenzie’s face was devastating. It was an insidious sign something was terribly wrong.

Earlier that day, Makenzie had fallen while playing in a corn maze with her grandparents. She was inconsolable and didn’t want to stand. Concerned, her grandparents took her home. On the drive home, she got car sick.

Her parents took her to a local urgent care where doctors suspected a concussion. They said rest would help and that she should feel better in the morning.

Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill from there. The left side of her face was drooping. They rushed her to the Emergency Department at Mary Bridge. From there, she was transferred to Seattle Children’s.

Makenzie suffered a stroke. At Seattle Children’s, she began intensive rehabilitation.

Today, almost two years after Makenzie’s stroke, she is back to doing what she loves most: dancing.

Read more about the amazing strides MaKenzie’s made after suffering a stroke and how Seattle Children’s helped get her back to centerstage.

With a top-10 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Neurosciences Center is the highest-ranked program for brain and spinal cord conditions in the Northwest. For more than a decade, Seattle Children’s has been ranked among the top pediatric neurology and neurosurgery programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Small steps, big leaps

When 4-year-old Radhika Poppy Ennis was adopted from India, she had extensive burns on her lower body. She could not walk and was only able to move around with her arms.

Radhika’s parents came to Seattle Children’s in search of hope. When the word amputation was first mentioned, they were apprehensive, but after extensive talks with the care team at Seattle Children’s, they agreed it was the best option for Radhika and her mobility.

Today, the world looks a lot different as Radhika toddles around. There is no stopping her.

Her bright smile lights up a room, along with her shiny bright blue prosthesis. She is walking thanks to Dr. Vincent Mosca, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of foot and limb deformities, and Seattle Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine department.

Read more about Radhika’s incredible journey from small steps to big leaps.

Our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Program was ranked #17 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information about the rankings visit Seattle Children’s U.S. News & World Report rankings.