Stories about: Our Patients’ Stories

Make way for Choo-Choo Charlie

Charlie, who was in the NICU as an infant, hikes in the woods. “My first thought when we had Charlie so early was, ‘why is this happening?’” Kate Wittemann recalls. “But now I look back and realize that Charlie gave us something to focus on and work towards.”

Before their son Charlie arrived 15 weeks before his due date, Kate and her husband, Paul, were at a turning point in their lives. They were “struggling to find a purpose,” Kate remembers. Then Charlie was born on Valentine’s Day of 2015 via emergency caesarean section.

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Investing in Esmé: More than aerodigestive care

Esme sits with her parents in the Aerodigestive Center
PHOTOS: SOPHIE FABBRI/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Esmé Savoie is pretty sure she’s going to marry Walter someday. There are some barriers: Esmé lives in upstate New York; Walter now resides in Los Angeles. Esmé is 7 years old and Walter is several years older. And while Esmé is a human little girl, Walter is a Muppet. Differences aside, however, it’s no surprise that they’re soul mates. Both are silly, determined — and finding their own unique place in the world.

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Nicole’s Story: Dancing my way through pain

Nicole Zizzi dancer hip dysplasia PAO Thriving blog lead image
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICKEY WEST PHOTOGRAPHY

Dance is my life passion.

I’ve spent more than 15 hours a week dancing for most of my 26 years — except for a period of time the past few years, when hip pain forced me to stop.

We dancers usually don’t express our pain; in fact, we almost like to be in pain because it means we’re working hard and improving. So, when I woke up one morning two years ago and I couldn’t lift my left leg, I knew something was very wrong. This pain was too intense to ignore.

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Working together for pain relief

Nadiya poses on a boat after receiving pain relief
PHOTOS COURTESY OF NADIYA ROY

When asked what she loves about lacrosse, 19-year-old Nadiya Roy pauses, searching for an answer. It’s not that she doesn’t know why she enjoys the sport — she can’t choose just one aspect of it. “I like the fast pace,” she says finally. “I love that it involves such teamwork. Even if you’re not the best individual player, if you work together, you can succeed.”

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