Patient Stories

Published on April 4, 2019
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How occupational therapist Jamie Berggren helps infants recover from a potentially disabling nerve injury suffered at birth. By Jeff Weinstock Therapy is a bummer, Maurice could tell you. It’s his first teachable moment, and at 8 months old he’s receiving it on his stomach,... Read More
Published on March 15, 2019
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By Katie Sweeney On the morning of Aug. 21, 2017, a nurse brought a special gift into 2-year-old Elliott’s room at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: a pair of eclipse glasses. It was the day of the much-anticipated total solar eclipse—the first in nearly a century to be... Read More
Published on February 28, 2019
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What caused a young girl’s liver and kidney disease? The mystery continues as her doctors plan for a transplant of both organs. By Jeff Weinstock Rachel Lestz, MD, not one to mince words or to conserve them, is abruptly stuck in a pause, halfway between a plausible... Read More
Published on February 22, 2019
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By Katie Sweeney The new heart was on its way down from the helipad. At the same time, Cynthia Herrington, MD, was carefully removing Ruben’s old heart from his chest. It was a heart she had seen before—she had operated on it when Ruben, now 2, was just a few days old. She... Read More
Published on February 21, 2019
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Young Charlie is living a full life—with half a heart By Matt Villano  Considering the amount of love in his life, considering how much he seems to enjoy every moment with his siblings and parents, it’s hard to believe 8-month-old Charlie was born with half a heart. The... Read More
Published on January 30, 2019
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By Michael Y. Park It seems like the magic of the moment sweeps up Eliana, unannounced, at key instances in her life. Last year it happened at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Gala, when she was brought onstage by none other than musician, producer and music mogul... Read More
Published on January 24, 2019
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By Katie Sweeney This is a story about Kalea and Noah—two siblings who are also best friends. Best, best friends.      “Oh my gosh, they are completely best friends,” says their mom, Nohea. “From the beginning, their personalities complemented each other perfectly.”     ... Read More
Published on January 17, 2019
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The effects of childhood cancer seemed destined to thwart Alberto’s brilliance at the piano, until he was introduced to a university engineering professor who had an idea. By Jeff Weinstock Of the two ways to get on Alberto’s good side, the more obvious one is to stand to... Read More
Published on December 7, 2018
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Doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles team up to solve the puzzle of a child’s vision problems. By Candace Pearson One ordinary, random morning, when he was barely 5 years old, Reiter woke up and “he was a different child,” recalls his mother, Stephanie. “I see two... Read More
Published on November 29, 2018
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By Katie Sweeney Meet Richard. He’s in fifth grade, loves his teacher, enjoys running, swimming and drawing, and has an ear-to-ear smile that makes him friends wherever he goes. And he’s gone a lot of places lately—while he lives in Los Angeles right now, his real home is in... Read More
Published on November 21, 2018
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Six officers race on all seven continents for the sake of helping others. By Michael Y. Park An experienced runner who’d traveled around the globe to race, Randy Pentis was used to seeing courses lined with gawking onlookers. But this? This was something else entirely. He... Read More
Published on November 13, 2018
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When 7-year-old Evabelle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, her parents found empowerment and support at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. By Candace Pearson Sometimes, the early signs that a child is ill can be so subtle, a family may not realize what’s happening—until... Read More
Published on November 1, 2018
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A dying 3-year-old boy. A desperate email. A stranger’s astonishing gift. By Katie Sweeney They were flying down the 101 freeway through Santa Barbara—the kids in the back seat, Chris at the wheel, and Holly next to him, frantically poring over the medical file the doctor... Read More
Published on October 25, 2018
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An unconventional treatment at CHLA heals a fluke injury, and helps a baseball phenom get back on track. By Matt Villano Yes, his name is really Win. It’s appropriate considering what the 12-year-old Manhattan Beach phenom does on the baseball diamond. It also applies to how... Read More
Published on October 11, 2018
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CHLA’s Heart Institute gives an 11-year-old baseball player a chance to get back in the game. By Matt Villano When it comes to baseball, “heart” is one of those intangibles in a player that scouts covet. Generally, the word refers to a variety of attributes including hustle... Read More
Published on September 21, 2018
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By Jeff Weinstock Urged on by a mantra started by her parents, Tessa fought like a tiger to overcome leukemia. It was an innocent question, one for which Meredith had the good fortune of not knowing the answer—otherwise she wouldn't have asked it: "What are labs?" After a... Read More
Published on September 14, 2018
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By Katie Sweeney   Please, let this be an infection. Please, an infection—not leukemia.   Those were the words running over and over through Nina’s head on April 12, 2013, as she sat by her 3-year-old son Alex’s bedside at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Earlier that... Read More
Published on August 2, 2018
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By Katie Sweeney First, he wiggled his fingers. Then he wiggled his toes. Now, he moves his head side to side, and he furrows his eyebrows when he doesn’t agree with you. For 3-year-old Ali Al-Mutawa—and for his parents and family, and his doctors, nurses and therapists at... Read More
Published on June 21, 2018
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A quartet of teenage siblings makes CHLA happier, one song at a time By Matt Villano To many, they’re The Runaway Hamsters—a talented band of child musicians who sing country pop and strive to help those in need. To Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, however, the four Keen... Read More
Published on May 24, 2018
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In the wake of the first anniversary of his newborn son’s passing, a father finds solace in skydiving and triathlon training, making sure to never be far from the loss. By Jeff Weinstock  “Have you ever jumped out of an airplane?” You got the wrong guy, buddy. Any points... Read More

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