Patient Stories

Published on February 15, 2018
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After beating back two life-threatening illnesses, the resilient teenager has a new heart to take forward and a bout with cancer to leave behind. By Jeff Weinstock Consider this a chicken-and-egg discussion no one ever wanted to have, but knowing which came first, the... Read More
Published on February 6, 2018
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By Katie Sweeney Fifteen-year-old Zerkari Payne is back at school these days, hanging out with his friends again and “shooting some hoop.” The outgoing high school sophomore has more energy than he can ever remember. “I feel like a brand-new person,” Zerkari says. Still... Read More
Published on December 28, 2017
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By Sarah Brown For a 4-day-old infant, 3½ hours is a long time. For his mother, it feels like a lifetime—when he is having open-heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. Benjamin Clark was born at a healthy 9 pounds, 12 ounces on April 15 in Bakersfield,... Read More
Published on December 18, 2017
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On a bright, sunny weekend in March 2017, Aubrey and Tyler Kelly decided to celebrate their new family of five with a camping trip before the end of Tyler’s paternity leave. They piled their three kids—4-year-old Sierra; Pierce, not quite 2; and Harper, only 4-and-a-half... Read More
Published on December 15, 2017
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Kennedy Rae Lewis’ mom expected her first ride to be in the back seat of her car on the way home from the hospital. Instead, it was in a helicopter, just hours after she was born—and it was a ride on which her life depended. Kennedy arrived ten weeks early via emergency... Read More
Published on November 7, 2017
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By Katie Sweeney Have you ever found yourself thinking about someone who made a significant impact on your life? And have you wished that you could tell that person just how grateful you are? Fourteen-year-old Sydney has had those thoughts many times over the years—... Read More
Published on October 27, 2017
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In South Pasadena, patients with neuromuscular disease come together over baseball. By Matt Villano Everybody who knows 6-year-old Andrew Escamilla always expected he would play professional baseball someday. His father, a diehard Dodgers fan, took the boy to see... Read More
Published on October 3, 2017
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“Five fingers, five toes! Five fingers, five toes!” the doctor called out as he delivered little Julie Rose Osumi-Cabaya via C-section. “No cord around her neck; that’s great!” Then he casually added one more observation: “Cleft lip, cleft palate—no problem.” Julie’s... Read More
Published on September 5, 2017
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The 7-year-old philanthropist had a brainstorm: If there were patients who could not be brought to the story corner, she would bring the story corner to the patients.  By Jeff Weinstock Shira Josephson wrote a book this summer and says it took her “five, four or... Read More
Published on September 1, 2017
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Aubrey Kelly’s 2-year-old son, Pierce, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia—a rare subset of leukemia that can progress quickly if not treated. In Pierce’s case, the best option was a bone marrow transplant. Pierce waited for 86 days to find his bone marrow donor... Read More
Published on August 1, 2017
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Marnie Blakey doesn’t remember anything about Feb. 5, 2007—anything before 10 p.m., that is. The phone call came at 10. She will always remember it, and of course, everything that followed. Prior to that call, though, the day is a blank. Did she force herself out of... Read More
Published on July 31, 2017
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Miguel Torres is a 14-year-old center midfielder with a big dream: to one day play professional soccer. “I love soccer. I like moving the ball around and having the ball at my feet,” the Gardena teen explains. “And I really like running.” While a lot of kids love to run... Read More
Published on July 13, 2017
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This story originally appeared in the TroDent, the official publication for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Read more stories like this in their Summer 2017 issue. Madison Carmenate can easily call Children’s Hospital Los Angeles her second home... Read More
Published on June 22, 2017
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The ancient rabbis decreed there are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood and the crown of royalty. But the crown of a good name surpasses them all. Some of these children come to him without names, so this most faithful Muslim does what the old... Read More
Published on June 8, 2017
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Palmer Naftal wasn’t supposed to jump that day. It was the first track meet of the 2017 season, and the 17-year-old Calabasas High School junior was standing on the sidelines, watching his teammates compete in the long jump—and growing increasingly restless. Last... Read More
Published on May 31, 2017
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The way 16-year-old field hockey sensation Abigail “Abby” Jackson sees it, the same Children’s Hospital Los Angeles doctor changed her life twice. The first time, James Stein, MD, now chief medical officer, operated on a 3-day-old baby. The second time, more than a decade... Read More
Published on May 18, 2017
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One toy can make a world of difference. After nearly three years of extended stays at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, this was one of the most enduring takeaways for 6-year-old Valentino Ricciotti and his family. From early 2012 till late 2015, Valen, as his family calls him... Read More
Published on March 28, 2017
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There was a time, not so long ago, when 15-year-old softball standout Devin Waddell might have let a bad game get her down. When she’d sometimes head home upset if her pitches hadn’t hit their mark, or she’d had an 0-for-4 weekend at the plate. But that was before she found... Read More
Published on March 13, 2017
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Brian Hacker had never met anyone else with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a disease he was diagnosed with when he was just 2 weeks old. That is, not until he came back to visit the hospital that diagnosed him, to volunteer at a camp specifically designed for kids with the... Read More
Published on March 9, 2017
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Thomas Hoag was 6 years old in 1967, and getting sicker by the day. As a little boy, he remembers being carted around from one doctor to the next. None of them could figure out what was wrong.  “My parents have told me that I didn’t want to play or do anything,” Hoag... Read More

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