Patient Stories

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
Published on May 17, 2018
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By Katie Sweeney Twelve-year-old Justin Ybarra likes to joke around, and he likes to have fun. Very rarely does he take life too seriously—even though there have been plenty of things in his life that have been plenty serious. So when you ask him why he got along so well... Read More
Published on April 26, 2018
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Katie Hawley was a rising young soccer star when cancer hit at age 9. Now she balances a desire to be a “typical” teenager with the challenges of a life-threatening disease. By Candace Pearson At 18, Katie Hawley is such an expert at blending life as a teenager and life with... Read More
Published on April 19, 2018
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Even before Angelique Garcia was born, doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles knew she had a severe form of congenital heart disease called complete atrioventricular canal defect (CAVC), thanks to a prenatal echocardiogram by CHLA cardiologist Jay Pruetz, MD. In a normal... Read More
Published on April 6, 2018
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A rare, polio-like illness called acute flaccid myelitis appeared on the national radar in 2014 and may be on track to return this summer and fall. Here is one family’s story, and a look at CHLA’s innovative, multidisciplinary approach. By Candace Pearson Like many parents,... Read More
Published on March 20, 2018
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My name is Grace Rose and I’m 15 years old. I was born with cystic fibrosis, which is a life-threatening disease that attacks my lungs and digestive system. I need to be watched carefully and treated often. I’ve been going to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since I was very... Read More
Published on March 2, 2018
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Superheroes come in many shapes and sizes. In the movies and the comics, they’re most often big and strong, with bulging biceps and superpowers unlike anything we earthlings have ever seen. In real life, however, superheroes often look much different, their powers subtler.... Read More
Published on February 23, 2018
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Jim Harrison, age 2 CHLA’s Home Mechanical Ventilation Program Marks 40th Anniversary There was a time when it was devastating news for a parent to learn that in order to survive, their child would need to be hospitalized and require assistance to breathe with a mechanical... Read More
Published on February 22, 2018
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By Katie Sweeney On a picture-perfect summer day at the lake in August 2016, William Lievense, then 9, stood at the edge of the dock, ready to jump gleefully into the water one more time. At that moment, his life was still the normal life he had always known. In that life,... Read More

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