|Miracle Children of Renown|
Champions Across America, a national program of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, designates in every state a Champion child who has bravely battled and triumphed despite a serious injury or illness. These Champion Children serve as ambassadors for the 17 million children treated at Children's Miracle Network hospitals each year. Renown Children's Hospital is the only CMN Hospital in the region and so we celebrate the Miracle Children of Renown.
Katy and Paige DuPriest: 2010-2011 Miracle Children
Lori DuPriest never thought she would conceive. But after several years she became pregnant with not only one child, but two. Despite an 80 percent chance of losing the twins, Katy and Paige were born premature, at 28 weeks gestation.
Katy was born at 1 pound, 15 ounces and two weeks later needed to have a titanium clip inserted to close the valve in her heart. She also suffered from a brain bleed and faced cerebral palsy, which fortunately resolved itself on its own. It took over a year for Katy to recover.
Paige was the smaller of the two, born at 1 pound, 4 ounces. In all, she needed five ear surgeries as a result of her inner ear not allowing enough room for sound to vibrate off the eardrum because she was so small. It took five years for the reconstruction on her left ear to complete. Paige also did not have the stamina to complete her feeds, and couldn't gain the weight she needed.
Today both Katy and Paige are healthy and active second-graders. Though identical in appearance, these 7-year-old sisters could not be more different in personality. Katy is a nurturer known to give therapeutic hugs when a person is upset while Paige's matter-of-fact personality expresses "aren't you over this yet?"
Nicholas Stevens: 2008-2009 Miracle Child
Nicholas Stevens' most beloved T-shirt bears the slogan "Small but Mighty." It's a fitting tribute to this dynamic 10-year-old whose small stature disguises a big personality and an even bigger heart.
Born 10 weeks early, Nicholas had an uphill battle from day one. In addition to complications from his premature birth, he also had a number of birth defects including defects of his esophagus and trachea called esophageal atresia and tracheo-esophageal fistula. By the time he was two Nicholas had undergone 20 surgeries and was admitted to the hospital countless times. He struggled with severe reflux and eating difficulties that made it hard for him to grow and thrive.
To make matters worse, Nicholas began to have severe attacks of vomiting and lethargy that would last for days. After extensive medical testing he was diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), a migraine-like condition that required frequent hospitalizations. Though there is no cure, medications help control his symptoms.
Matthew Cummings: 2006-2007 Miracle Child
Matthew Cummings was the 2006 Children's Miracle Network Miracle Child. Cummings was chosen by the local CMN selection committee for the courage he demonstrated during his diagnosis and treatment of an Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM).
In 2005, Cummings was diagnosed with an AVM-a defect of the circulatory system in which arteries and veins are tangled and not connected by capillaries. It is generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. The lack of capillaries that the AVM causes allows blood traveling through the abnormal vessels to flow rapidly and under high pressure. This prevents the nutrient rich blood in the arteries from reaching the tissues.
Although an AVM can develop in many different sites, those located in the brain or spinal cord can have especially widespread effects on the body - including the possibility of a stroke or death. The probability of an AVM occurring in a child under the age of 16 is one in one hundred thousand. That means that less than eight percent of all children develop an AVM.
Neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Song was the attending physician when Cummings presented at Renown Regional Medical Center. Cummings underwent a series of diagnostic tests, including several CT scans and an MRI, to determine the size and intricacy of the AVM. Song decided that a craniotomy would be the most effective form of treatment for Cummings. A craniotomy is the surgical removal of a section of bone (bone flap) from the skull for the purpose of operating on the underlying tissues, usually the brain. The bone flap is replaced at the end of the procedure. Cumming's craniotomy was successful. His recovery required a 30-day hospital stay, including two days in the region's only pediatric intensive care unit at Renown Regional. His follow-up care included routine check-ups every three to six months for the following year.