Author: Boston Children's Hospital staff

July highlights: Mother’s intuition, music therapy & more

Catch up on what you may have missed on Thriving last month. Our staff takes a look back at a few of this month’s favorite posts.

A mother’s intuition—and a fall down the stairs—save a little girl’s life

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Liz Beaulieu is likely the only person in the world who can say she saved her child by falling down the stairs.

Her daughter, Arielle, was just 4 days old. Liz was carrying her downstairs when she slipped. Not sure whether Arielle had hit her head, she whisked her to her local ER.

“She seemed fine, and they said that she looked fine,” Liz says. Still concerned, though, Liz kept a close eye on Arielle over the next couple of days. That’s when she noticed something.

“I noticed the slightest flicker of her eyes,” Liz recalls, “and decided that I wanted to get it checked out.” She took Arielle back to the hospital, asking them to do a CT scan. The hospital demurred, but Liz insisted, telling them she needed the peace of mind.

“So they did the scan,” Liz recalls, “and they found an enormous tumor.”

Read about Arielle and her family.

Kyle Cooper waits 18 years for oral surgery

Kyle at prom c/o VeraAnn Photography
Kyle at prom c/o VeraAnn Photography

Kyle Cooper was born with hemifacial microsomia (HFM), a craniofacial anomaly that resulted in the left side of his face being underdeveloped. It meant his face was noticeably uneven and barely any of his teeth touched. “I made it through and got used to it, but I couldn’t eat things like meat because it would take me three hours to chew.”

In February, Boston Children’s Hospital Oral Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Bonnie Padwa reconstructed the 18-year-old’s upper and lower jaws and his chin. He returned to school just in time for prom and graduation.

Learn more about Kyle.

My life after concussion: Finding a new game

Esther playing soccer before her concussion and practicing her golfswing after her injury
Esther playing soccer before her concussion and practicing her golfswing after her injury

Fifteen-year-old Esther Lovett’s life turned upside down after she suffered a concussion. An excellent student and star athlete, Esther was seriously challenged by the prolonged affects of her concussion.

Read Esther’s words of wisdom for other teens.

For baby Joy, music and medicine are in perfect harmony

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James Danna enters the Boston Children’s Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) with the tools he’ll use to treat Joy, a 9-month-old patient recovering from open-heart surgery. Instead of a stethoscope or scalpel, James carries only small percussion instruments and a guitar.

He gently opens the door to Joy’s room, taking a quick read of her heart rate—138. Joy is a tiny little thing in a great big bed, under bright lights and tethered to multiple machines. Over the course of her multiple procedures for a congenital heart defect, the noise of the monitors, air conditioning and loudspeakers have made for a very wary baby. Her medical chart describes Joy as “staff phobic,” as most adults who enter her room poke and prick her.

But Joy has met James many times before and knows him to be safe. She locks her eyes on him and waits for the music to begin. Keeping his distance, James quietly hums a tune while strumming a few chords on his guitar.

Joy smiles, crosses her little legs and nods to the beat.

Listen to James and Joy.

Tyler’s story: 20 surgeries with a smile

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Tyler Bois is a boy with goals. His career aspirations run the gamut. Some days, he dreams of playing football with his favorite team—the Dallas Cowboys. Others, he wants to open a pizza shop, perhaps called “Slice of Ty” or “Ty’s Pizza Palace.”

For now, the nine-year-old stays busy with every day kid stuff—playing with his golden retriever puppy, planning for Cub Scout camp, dancing in the school talent show, skiing and wakeboarding. Somehow between all of these activities, Tyler has squeezed in 20 surgeries.

Born with spina bifida and a Chiari malformation (a congenital defect in which the back parts of the brain slip into his spinal cord), he approaches each surgery with a trademark smile and can-do attitude.

Meet Tyler.

 

 

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Swings and swimming: Guide to summer fun

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It’s officially summer, and many children and teens have traded in their school notebooks, tablets and uniforms for sidewalk chalk, tennis rackets and bathing suits. They also have more time for exploring new activities and experiences!

This year, the Center on Media and Child Health hopes to help you make the most out of your family’s summer by offering a free Summer F.U.N. Guide, providing you with fun, exciting and healthy media and non-media activity ideas for the children and teens in your life.

The guide contains helpful tips to keep in mind when planning activities as well as specific outing suggestions based on the child’s developmental stage.

We hope you find the guide helpful and easy to use, whether on your computer, on a mobile device or printed out and pinned to a family bulletin board. Whatever your method, don’t forget the sunscreen, and enjoy your media and your summer!

Download the CMCH Summer F.U.N. Guide.

 

 

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Healthy food for July 4th: Red, white & berry parfait

shutterstock_146926817A favorite summer holiday is just a few days away. July 4th calls for swimming, friends, family, fireworks and food … lots of food! Bringing something to a party or throwing one yourself? Bring a treat thats tasty, filling and good for you!

Try this Red, White & Berry Parfait.

IngredientsIMG_2380

  • 1 cup of 0-2% plain/vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 10 strawberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of whole grain granola (with at least 3-4g of fiber/serving)

Prepare

  • Layer the following ingredients and place them in a mason jar or clear glass—make it festive!
  • First place the strawberries, then the yogurt, then the blueberries, then the granola (in order: red, white and blue)
  • And enjoy!

Learn more about Boston Children’s Preventive Cardiology Clinic.

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Parent Q&A: Helping a daughter through breast reduction surgery


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For her eighteenth birthday, Mackenzie Langan wanted people to know her as something other than the girl with the big breasts. The teenager from Cape Cod—whose experience was chronicled in a recent episode of Nightline—underwent a double breast reduction surgery to take her G-cup chest down to a C size. Now, you “can’t take the smile off her face,” says Mackenzie’s mother, Cindy Crawford, who shared with us a parent’s perspective on coping with macromastia and getting treatment from Brian Labow, MD, at the Boston Children’s Hospital Adolescent Breast Center.

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