Patient Stories

Published on August 18, 2016
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All parents face tough questions from their children, but Cynthia Harkins has had to answer some particularly poignant questions from her son, David. “He asked me once if he really has half a heart,” Cynthia recalls. “I told him that, for some people, this is the easiest way... Read More
Published on August 5, 2016
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Three knee surgeries followed by a meniscus transplant sidelined the young soccer player for 2 ½ years. He’s now on the verge of returning to the field. From inside her son’s examination room at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Teresa Torres could hear orthopaedic surgeon Lee... Read More
Published on August 4, 2016
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Every time 6-year-old Zayden Rainey comes to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, something magical happens: He grows a little taller. It happens quickly—in less than two minutes—but no hocus-pocus or magic spells are involved. Even better, there’s no surgery. Instead, David... Read More
Published on August 2, 2016
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Dieter Stelling is back in the swim, thanks to the specialized skills of the Children's Orthopaedic Center's Hip Preservation Program. Dieter Stelling feels right at home in the ocean, where he loves to dive and snorkel, exploring marine life. Out of the water, he prefers to... Read More
Published on July 28, 2016
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Until the day her family got a surprise phone call from Mitch Seruya, MD, Heather Murillo had been at a loss. Murillo’s youngest daughter, Stella Carrillo, had brachial plexus palsy—also called Erb’s palsy—a condition that rendered her unable to use her left arm. The... Read More
Published on July 21, 2016
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Lying in the back seat of his parents’ car on July 3, 2012, 13-year-old Nathan Newman had no idea just how much his life was about to change. Up until that summer, when his headaches started, he’d always been happy and healthy. Sports were his life, and he played on club... Read More
Published on July 12, 2016
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Since Elise Martinez was 2 years old, she was debilitated by a condition that could not be properly diagnosed.  It caused severe impaction in the bowels, arthritis and malnutrition. The many pediatric specialists she saw before coming to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles were... Read More
Published on June 13, 2016
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A prosthetic leg can’t keep the exuberant 4-year-old from dancing, bike-riding, or hiding from her mother when they’re out shopping. Don’t believe what Fiona Ashe may tell you. Her parents did not purchase her at Target, though after hearing that claim enough times, her... Read More
Published on June 13, 2016
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World Blood Donor Day is a day to acknowledge the individuals who have sacrificed their time to donate blood, and encourage others to do the same. Blood is an essential part of the body that is often overlooked and underappreciated. That is, unless you have an illness such as... Read More
Published on May 18, 2016
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Last May, Ava Cardoso-Smith, then 14, strode across the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, took the microphone and belted out a rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” Her performance was part of a charity gala benefiting programs for Los Angeles-area foster children, and the... Read More
Published on May 6, 2016
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A daughter comes to CHLA for the same surgery her mother had here more than 35 years before Amelia Green and her family arrived at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles before dawn on Aug. 13, 2014. The adorable 4-year-old was dressed as her favorite TV character, Doc McStuffins,... Read More
Published on May 5, 2016
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Hearing the news that you’re about to have your first-born is an exciting time. You might wonder about what your child will look like, or what you’ll name him or her, but there’s a lot to worry about as well. You hope that your child will be a healthy infant and that your... Read More
Published on February 29, 2016
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In July 2015, Samantha and Marco Davila were at week 20 of their pregnancy, and they were excited to learn of their first child’s gender. But something was spotted on the ultrasound that would change all three lives. What their doctor saw would ultimately be diagnosed as a... Read More
Published on February 18, 2016
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His daughter’s experience at the Heart Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles spurred actor Mark Feuerstein and his wife, Dana Klein, to get involved. Mark Feuerstein faced a dilemma shared by many parents of severely ill children: the agony of going to work every day... Read More
Published on February 9, 2016
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Elysia Weiner, RN, clinic nurse III at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, was nervous to be on her first helicopter ride. She didn’t know what to expect, but luckily, a CHLA transport nurse was kind to explain the process of the flight and Weiner was even taken on a special trip... Read More
Published on January 21, 2016
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How a desperate email, sent to the wrong hospital, inadvertently reached the one doctor who could turn Bianca Celis’ life around. “Oops.” That was the best Bianca Celis could muster after learning that the email she had sent off to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles went far... Read More
Published on January 8, 2016
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Eleven-year-old Savannah Fulkerson loves Disneyland, water parks, trips to the beach and swimming in her backyard pool. The energetic Santa Clarita sixth-grader, though, can only do those activities at night, after the sun has safely gone down. That’s because for Savannah,... Read More
Published on December 29, 2015
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“She knows where to go, she knows the nurses, she knows the routine and sees other kids going through the same things,” says Trish Manzanedo. “She feels at home here.” Trish is referring to her 6-year-old daughter, Natalia, who has been fighting high-risk acute lymphoblastic... Read More
Published on December 21, 2015
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Among the 1,000 or so books that Nikki Kerry estimates line the bookshelves in her kids’ playroom, she counts a few dozen “special” books, so designated because they were given to her daughter Gracin by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where Gracin has been a patient since... Read More
Published on December 14, 2015
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Jennifer Rashkin recalls with absolute clarity the first time her daughter, Mila, had a seizure. “It was Sept. 26, 2011. She was 3 years old. About 15 minutes into her nap, I heard her cough, and I was like, ‘That’s weird.’ As I walked in, I heard her gurgling. When I saw her... Read More

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