Like most first graders, Sloane has a jam-packed schedule, filled with fun activities such as dancing, ice skating and playing tennis. But every now and then, this busy girl needs to take a break, even if that simply means taking her time to sip a glass of water. “I remind her that, sometimes, she needs to slow down,” says her mom, Tarra. …
For some kids, the hospital can be a scary place, where even doctors with the best intentions poke, prod and serve up yucky-tasting medication. But for three-year-old Jack Steinberg, a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital is worth the trip from his home in Great Neck, New York. “No, it’s really fun,” Jack’s mother, Jessica, recently overheard him telling his older brother, Henry, who isn’t a fan of doctor visits. “They give you toys and stickers there!”
Jack’s cheerful attitude seems at odds with his recent health challenges. In fact, says his father, Noah, “If you saw him walking down the street, you’d never know anything was wrong with him.” …
Juan was looking forward to having his son, Fredy, 14, finally come home to live with him. The teenager had been living under the care of his grandmother since he was a toddler.
But on that long-awaited homecoming day, Juan was quickly jarred from feeling great joy to grave concern.
“When I saw his face, one side looked very different from the other and his lip was swollen,” says Juan. “He admitted right away that his face had been hurting.”
Juan remembered that the last time he’d seen his son — more than one year ago — Fredy’s face had looked slightly different then too. But whatever was happening, the situation had clearly become much worse since then. Something was undeniably very, very wrong. …
Noah Hamm has escaped death more times than his mother Danielle can count. And he’s only 3.
Since Noah was born there have been three constants in his life: Noah’s knack for near misses, his family and a neonatologist/pulmonologist who’s always there with the right care for Noah … and the right words for his family.
“I tell Larry [Dr. Larry Rhein] he’s our George Bailey,” says Noah’s mom Danielle.
Larry gave me hope. Even when things were bad, I always felt better when Larry was there.
Noah was a 29-week twin when Danielle’s water broke prematurely. “The only condition I thought I had to worry about after having a STAT C-section was prematurity,” she recalls.
Six hours after Noah and his sister Dakotah were born at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, specialists told Danielle and her husband Brendan their newborn son needed surgery for esophageal atresia, a gap in his esophagus, and tracheoesophageal fistula, an abnormal connection between his esophagus and trachea.
Nurses brought Noah to Danielle to let her hold her son before transferring him to Boston Children’s Hospital. “They weren’t sure he’d make it through the first night,” says Danielle.
But Noah did make it through the night and through his first surgery, when Dr. Terry Buchmiller, a surgeon at Boston Children’s, repaired Noah’s tracheaesophageal fistula and placed a G-tube to deliver nutrition directly to Noah’s stomach.
A few days after Noah’s first surgery, he was was diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus; the path between his pulmonary and aortic valves did not close after birth as it should have.
Two weeks later, Danielle could see that Noah didn’t look quite right. She grabbed Dr. Anne Hansen, medical director of the Boston Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and doctors discovered the hole in Noah’s heart had blown open. He needed emergency heart surgery.
Rhein made his first appearance in Noah’s life that night. …