Patient Stories

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 and... 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. Born with... 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 Hebrew... 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 season,... 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 out... 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 says. “... Read More
Published on February 23, 2017
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In May 2011, at her grandmother’s birthday party, Viviana Flores did something nearly unheard of for a 6 year old: She turned down a piece of cake. She and her mom, Diana Hernandez, had just come from the doctor’s office because Viviana had a stomachache. Her cousin thought... Read More
Published on January 20, 2017
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Imagine a newborn so small you can hold her entire body in one hand. Then imagine the overwhelming concern and responsibility you would feel for her fragile life if this were your own child. For Nicole and Danny Castro, it doesn’t take any imagination; their daughter, Indi,... Read More
Published on January 20, 2017
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A muscle disorder has frozen her body and impaired her speech, but with every academic achievement, the straight-A college freshman delivers a message to those who can't see past her disabilities. You have to fight the inclination to ignore Connie Morales. Diminutive,... Read More
Published on November 29, 2016
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A Family Fighting Leukemia Finds Answers, Care and Hope The signs were subtle. A less persistent person might have listened to the advice from the first few doctors, and just chalked it up to a sinus infection and the overactive imagination of a new mom. But Ashley Kramer... Read More
Published on November 29, 2016
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When 15-year-old Jenny Cheng learned that she’d been accepted to a prestigious summer ballet and language program in Russia—earning a significant scholarship—she was beyond elated. But on that same day in April 2015, Jenny and her family also learned that her scoliosis (... Read More
Published on November 29, 2016
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In October 2009, Megan and Christopher Pierson welcomed daughter Saylor at a local hospital near their home in Newport Beach, California. Even though their little one was born six weeks early, the proud parents were thrilled. “She was pink and crying and looked perfect,” Megan... Read More
Published on November 28, 2016
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Carter Holt is the hero and protector of his little brother, Forrest, who suffers from vascular malformations and kidney failure. “You’re doing a good job, buddy.” Those are the loving words 5-year-old Carter Holt whispers to his little brother, Forrest, whenever he leaves... Read More
Published on November 21, 2016
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A twelve-year-old's golf dream made possible by bone marrow donor sister. Immediately after watching “The Short Game,” a documentary about elite 7-year-old golfers descending on the world-famous Pinehurst Golf Course to determine the next world champion, Marley Franklin... Read More
Published on November 11, 2016
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How CHLA helped one teenager overcome scoliosis to soar in gymnastics and in life Scoliosis surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles gave 17-year-old Danielle Drake new hope for her aerial gymnastics career—and two inches on the height charts. Danielle, a resident of San... Read More
Published on November 2, 2016
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On an uncharacteristically cold and blustery day in Miami this year, Adam Wolf did something that doctors—and he himself—once thought impossible: He got up out of his wheelchair and walked. He walked for two miles—the last two miles of the Miami Half-Marathon. For the first... Read More
Published on October 12, 2016
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When Caiden Moran was born, he failed the newborn hearing screening, a standard test given to all babies before they leave the hospital. So his parents brought him back for a recheck. And he failed again. Caiden, it turned out, was born with underdeveloped cochleae and cochlear... Read More

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