Check back soon for just a few of the inspirational stories of Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters patients.
Emma Bulich, 4
On Christmas Day, 2010, 3-year-old Emma Bulich was admitted to CHKD, after being transferred from a Williamsburg hospital.
She had not been feeling well for a while, but at CHKD her mom, Michelle, received devastating news: Emma had leukemia.
That news seemed to swallow the family whole, as CHKD and Emma’s health became the center of their existence.
Emma’s family would have gone anywhere to get the best cancer treatment available, but found out they could get it here.
Today, both Michelle and Emma have adjusted, and both consider CHKD a second home, a place where they can find friends and medical professionals whose compassion continually amazes them.
Emma is doing great, and has handled her experience with strength and charm. If you get her in the right mood, she’s talkative and a lot of fun.
Hayden Kent Vail, 11 months
When Hayden was born 9 weeks early, doctors worried that he might not survive. Because of fluid build up in his abdomen, doctors weren’t sure he had all his organs.
Then, as NICU doctors rushed Hayden away for treatment, Hayden’s mom, Andrea, went into respiratory arrest.
Hayden’s father, Chris, was asked to say goodbye to Hayden in case he didn’t make it, and then was told his wife had a 50-50 chance of survival.
Chris’s entire life seemed to unravel, as he faced both the loss off his son and the loss of his wife.
Fortunately, Andrea recovered.
In the NICU, doctors discovered that Hayden had a softball-sized cyst on her liver and a perforated intestine, both of which required surgery.
After surgery, Hayden remained in the NICU, facing a number of other potentially lethal complications.
After 2½ months, Hayden went home and is now a happy, healthy child.
Jaiden Taylor, 6
After Jaiden Taylor began a clinical trial of a new cancer treatment, his mom, Chamaine, turned on CBS to see Sanjay Gupta talking about the cutting-edge treatment being offered in the world’s top pediatric cancer centers.
Jaiden, who lives in Portsmouth, was one of the world’s earliest participants, and received the therapy at CHKD.
Jaiden started walking with a limp last fall of 2008. As doctors attempted to find the cause, they found discovered something startling – Jaiden had cancer, stage 4 neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerve cells.
Stage 4 means that Jaiden’s cancer has spread to other organs and required extremely aggressive treatment.
When she learned they her son had cancer, Chamaine, was prepared to take him to “Duke or Sloane Kettering or St. Jude’s” to get the most advanced treatment possible.
When she saw the piece on Jaiden’s treatment, Chamaine realized “that we were getting the best treatment possible at CHKD,” she said.
“We are surrounded by positive people in this hospital, and get emotional support from everybody --- from the nurses to the cafeteria workers,” Chamaine said.
Today, Jaiden, a NASCAR nut, is thriving.
Javen Bailey, 10 months
At 3 months old, most babies are cooing and babbling, smiling back at people and holding up their heads. When Javen Bailey was 3 months old, he was adjusting to hearing aids.
Fortunately, his pediatrician was Dr. Juanita Coleman of CHKD’s Coastal Pediatrics practice in Elizabeth City, N.C. Dr. Coleman immediately referred Javen to her ENT colleagues at Children’s Hospital.
ENT specialist Cristina Baldassari told Javen’s mom, Latoyia, and his dad, Jeromy, that Javen had sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, a type of hearing impairment caused by a problem with the inner ear or hearing nerve.
Children are not fitted with hearing aids soon enough often have trouble developing language skills during the stage where they are mastering the sounds of a language by babbling. By wearing the aids as an infant, Javen will develop language skills just as any child would.
Javen’s brothers, Jeromy Jr., 11, and Jayce, 2, are quick to remind their parents to “put Javen’s ears on.
And Jeromy Jr. now wants to be an audiologist.
Jeremiah Green, 11 months
At 10-weeks-old, Jeremiah Green stopped breathing.
His dad, Jason, had to revive him on the kitchen table in his Hampton home, following instructions from the 911 operator – while Jeremiah’s mother, Jessica, looked on in terror.
A CHKD transport team rushed Jeremiah to CHKD, where doctors diagnosed a rare congenital defect known as a vascular ring.
Essentially, arched portions of Jeremiah’s aorta failed to breakdown during development.
Those remaining vessels encircled Jeremiah’s windpipe, essentially strangling him.
The team called in CHKD’s chief cardiac surgeon, who operated on Jeremiah, breaking up the ring.
Only a week after he had stopped breathing, Jeremiah was back at home with his parents and two older brothers.
Today, Jeremiah is thriving.