“At school I was seeing double today, Mom,” said 9-year-old Eliza in May of 2015. Catherine hadn’t noticed her daughter’s eyes crossing and suspected that her fourth grader was simply tired.
A few weeks later, however, Catherine and her husband were sitting in the front row at Eliza’s chorus concert, when suddenly they both noticed their daughter’s eye was crossed. It was Eliza’s 10th birthday.
“She was fine one day, and then the next her eyes weren’t working together,” says Catherine. “It was terrifying.” …
Marc and Nicki Applebee pull their rented, 12-passenger van up to the Boston Children’s Hospital main entrance. The couple, along with family friends and their three bundles of joy — Wyatt, 2, and twins Max and Ivy, 1, travel over five hours from their hometown in Surry, Maine, to deliver several hundred new and donated toys to the hospital.
Their annual holiday visit, called “Christmas for Olive” is a labor of love, and one dedicated to the memory of their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Olive Hope, who passed away in July of 2013, due to complications following her third open-heart surgery.
Nicki and Marc say their visit is also a day of gratitude — an opportunity to visit Dr. Richard Yu and the urological team who repaired Max’s kidney function when he was 6 months old. “We have been donating toys to Boston Children’s in Olive’s memory since December 2013,” says Nicki, whose jacket has a “Christmas for Olive” emblem engraved on it. “We also enjoy visiting with Dr. Yu and the nurses that took care of Max while he was here.” …
Every child has a favorite thing. Some find comfort in the softness of a blanket, while others prefer snuggling a stuffed animal. Whatever the soothing item is, every parent cringes at the thought of misplacing it.
Michelle Arria remembers the day her 18-month-old son Anthony James (AJ) visited Boston Children’s Hospital for testing. It was the day his favorite blanket was lost.
“Testing was about to begin, and I went to get AJ’s blanket, and it was nowhere to be found. He was screaming crying, and I became hysterical,” Michelle recalls.
For Jonathan Reed, summer fun goes way beyond wave riding along New England beaches. During a recent weeklong family vacation to Universal Studios in Florida, the Rhode Island fourth-grader visited wave pools at a water park, rode gravity-defying roller coasters and sprinted from one fun-filled attraction to the next.
This dream vacation may not have been as magical if Jonathan had to continually battle ongoing stomach pain.