Author: Joanne Barker

Wendy and Abby: Learning how to eat after premature birth

Abby and Wendy, who were born premature: Abby smiles with a piece of cheese in her hand. Wendy sits on the floor.
Abby (left) develops a taste for cheese. Wendy (right) contemplates crawling.
[PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ELLIOTT FAMILY]

The evening Tiffany and Richard Elliott’s twins were born, a group of clinicians sat down to tell them their babies might not make it. Born at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in October 2017, the newborns were almost three months premature. Each weighed less than 2 pounds and had not developed in critical ways. In the best-case scenario, Wendy, who was born first, and Abby, born four minutes later, would not breathe on their own at least until their original due date in January.

Read Full Story

Returning to the stage after show-stopping wrist pain

Bruno on stage after surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRUNO SILVA

Bruno Silva can’t imagine his life without music. He has been playing bass guitar since he was 12 years old and performs at least once a week, often more. Born in Japan to Brazilian parents, Bruno has lived and performed in England, Brazil, Spain and the United States. He started out playing along to bands like Metallica and Megadeath. Then he found jazz and has focused on that style of music ever since.

Read Full Story

Liam’s lump: A family faces surgery

Liam, who had a thyroglossal duct cyst, poses with his older brother.
Liam, left, and his older brother Nolan (PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIAM’S FAMILY)

Liam likes to move fast. He rides his bike fast, kicks the soccer ball fast, and swings fast on the swing set. At the local pool, his cannonballs are bigger because of his fast running start. “Liam is the wild man in our family,” says his mom Julie. “Nothing seems to scare him.”

Read Full Story

A diagnosis of Down syndrome motivates a family to go the extra mile

Mae, who has Down syndrome, sits on the bottom of a slide. As she leaves nursery school at the end of each day, Mae Tapley blows kisses to every person she passes on her way to the door. For her mother, Susie, watching teachers and staff step out into the hall to wave to her daughter is a welcome change. Three years ago, when Mae was born with Down syndrome, it seemed like no one knew what to say to her.

“When you have a typical child, people tell you how beautiful they are,” says Susie. “With Mae, no one told us she was beautiful or that she would have a full life until we came to Boston Children’s Hospital. They believed in her from the first day.”

Read Full Story