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Together, we can change the future for children with special health care needs.

The generosity of our donors has helped us treat more patients and families through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Our patient's courageous stories will inspire you for years to come. Learn more about how your generosity provides programs, equipment and services that directly help children with special healthcare needs.

 

Luca Damas

Status Epilepticus 

To meet Luca Damas today, you would never suspect the trauma that he experienced at just 14 months old. Now at age seven, Luca loves playing sports and video games, singing, dancing, yoga, and playing with his brother and new little sister. He is great at math and an excellent reader. His mother, Randy Cho, describes him as "all love."

Luca was a happy 14 month old baby-full of smiles and giggles and hitting every milestone for his age-until one night changed it all.

 

Luca's STORY

Colby Douglas

Down syndrome, COVID-19

"Devastated" is the word Gayle Douglas used to describe how she felt the moment she was told that her son needed to be intubated and placed on a ventilator. Colby, who lives with Down syndrome, had contracted COVID-19.

Colby had grown so extremely weak due to months on the vent that he was sent to Children's Specialized Hospital (CSH) for rehabilitation therapies. Colby had been living with the devastating effects of COVID-19 for nearly three months. Yet within only three weeks at CSH, our doctors were able to remove his ventilator and trach - something previously thought impossible. Soon the Douglas family was celebrating milestones that Colby had first achieved in early childhood but lost due to COVID-19: speaking, eating, brushing teeth, getting dressed -- each day regaining his independence.

colby's STORY

Eduardo Patino

Transposition of the Great Arteries

Eduardo was born with a condition called transposition of the great arteries, which is a rare but serious heart defect in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. In the middle of a procedure to ease his condition, Eduardo suffered a heart attack and doctors told his family that they were not confident he would have a high quality of life. Today, thanks to services at CSH, Eduardo is "always on the go and always wants to be involved in what we're doing," says his mom. She adds that her son inspires her and those around her to view no obstacle as too large. She says, "With love, you can do anything".

EDUARDO'S FULL STORY

LJ

Traumatic Brain Injury

Olivia Lopes had no idea that the call she received on the afternoon of January 8, 2019 would change her life. Her son, mother, and nephew had been in a car accident – but she and her husband had just bought a new SUV ranked highly for safety for this exact reason, so she figured the worst it could be was a few bumps and bruises. What she didn’t realize at the time was that they were hit as pedestrians.

LJ'S FULL STORY

 
Leah Hansen

Spinal Cord Stroke

An outstanding third grade softball player known for her infectious smile and tenacity on the field, nine-year-old Leah was playing with her sister when she began to experience tingling in her fingers. Rushed to the emergency room, Leah remained in the hospital and was sedated for six days with no known prognosis.

Finally, there was a diagnosis: a spinal cord stroke. This is extremely rare. Only 2% of all strokes originate in the spinal cord and they are almost unheard of in young, healthy children. 

LEAH'S STORY

Mekhi Avent

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Briana first began noticing signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in her son, Mekhi, when he was around two years old. He was unable to speak, sensitive to loud noises, walking on his tip toes, and running away in public settings. Mekhi was unable to control himself or his body movements and his behavior reflected his frustration.

​As a concerned parent Briana took Mekhi to their family pediatrician who referred him to Children's Specialized Hospital (CSH) for an early developmental screening where he received his diagnoses at the age of two. 

Mekhi's STORY

Taina Richards

Antiphospholipid Syndrome 

16-year old, Taina Richards learned to walk again after a below-the-knee amputation caused by a blood clotting disorder. 

Taina's STORY