Stories about: surgery

Volunteers are caregivers, too


At Boston Children’s Hospital, we are all part of the care team. Our President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Kevin Churchwell often says, “Whether we’re delivering care at bedside, supporting that care or pioneering what care will look like tomorrow, everyone at Boston Children’s is a caregiver.”

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Olivia’s story: Recovering from necrotizing enterocolitis

Emily and Leo pose with Olivia, who had necrotizing enterocolitis, next to an open field.
Emily and Leo Martins with Olivia. [PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MARTINS FAMILY]

Any new baby’s arrival comes with a long list of questions for parents. Will the baby sleep through the night, for instance, and what type of diaper is best? When babies are born premature, however, such questions typically give way to greater uncertainties. Will the baby’s internal organs develop and how long will they have to stay in the hospital?

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Our patients’ stories: fixing Brody’s omphalocele

By Maureen Simoncini


When I was 18 weeks pregnant my husband, Kenny, and I went in for a routine ultrasound. We were excited to find out if I was carrying a boy or a girl, but we found out much more than that. The ultrasound revealed that I was having a boy, but he would be born with a serious medical condition called an omphalocele. (It’s a birth defect where the baby’s intestine or other organs stick out of the belly button. In many cases only a thin layer of tissue covers the intestines.)

Once it was established that our baby had an omphalocele, we were transferred to a doctor at our local hospital who specialized in high-risk pregnancies. It soon became clear that our case was severe—on more than one occasion we were told that our baby’s chances of survival were minimal at best.

But no matter how grim the news, Kenny and I said we were going to have the baby no matter what, termination simply wasn’t an option. It was then that I began looking for a second opinion, which led us to Boston Children’s Hospital.  

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The sounds of disease

music vortexAn amazing new software program developed by Gil Alterovitz, PhD, a research fellow in the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program, that turns gene and protein expression data into music, could help doctors hear whether their patients’ health has taken a turn for the worse.

WBUR recently did a story on the new software. “We felt that music, in some sense, can serve as a translator,” Alterovitz said in the piece. “There’s more and more information presented, so…we need a way to present it to the brain…in a way that it can handle it.”

We recently did a story on Alterovitz’s work in Vector, our research magazine, and Technology Review did a cool audio/video presentation that compared the sounds of sickness to the sounds of health.

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