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Experience Journal: ‘Heart defects won’t keep me from reaching my goals’
Emily Ryan was born with coarctation of the aorta and a ventricular septal defect (VSD). But these congenital heart defects have never kept her down. Even though she’s had a pacemaker since age 4, she’s always led an extremely active lifestyle. Emily’s parents and her team of caregivers from the Heart Center at Boston Children’s Hospital have helped Emily understand her heart condition and have given her the confidence and encouragement to realize her full potential — both in the classroom and on the track. Now a competitive Division 1 athlete and outdoor leader in college,...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 20, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories coarctation of the aorta congenital heart defect Experience Journal Heart Center ventricular septal defect Source Type: news

Thank you from the bottom of my three-chambered heart
Austin hugging his father at the finish line of the 2017 Boston Marathon. Photo credit: Joseph Kelly When people ask me what it was like to run the Boston Marathon, I don’t just think about the race itself. I think about about my entire life journey and all the people who helped get me to Boylston Street. Yes, the actual marathon day is one day in time that people can point to on a calendar, but it’s the long journey with all its ups and downs and the people you meet along the way, that makes it all worth it. My journey has come full circle, as I went from my mom and I waiting for my dad at the finish line nine...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 17, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Austin Prario Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories congenital heart defect Dr. Audrey Marshall Dr. John Mayer Heart Center Source Type: news

Miles to go: From Mississippi to Boston for life-saving care
Whether he’s riding with his family on their all-terrain vehicle (ATV) at home in Mississippi, learning how to fish or playing with his cousins, Ethan Claborn is happiest when he’s outdoors. Simple things like a blade of grass or drop of rain are even more special for this almost four-year-old, considering he spent the first year of his life within hospital walls. Ethan’s parents, Holly and Gary, knew even before he was born that he would face several health challenges. But it still felt like a shock when, not long after birth, he was rushed into surgery to treat an intestinal blockage. Diagnosed with ile...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 16, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation Dr. Biren Modi Dr. Mark Puder ileal atresia Omegaven total parenteral nutrition Source Type: news

Blood relatives: Family bound by love and rare blood disorder
Tracy Antonelli was 4 when she was diagnosed with thalassemia, a rare blood disorder that occurs often enough in Mediterranean countries like Italy that an old adage, uttered only partially in jest, warns Italian-Americans against marrying other Italian-Americans. In 2002, Tracy wed Patrick Mooty, whose background is mostly Irish. Their three daughters — 7-year-old Emmilene, 6-year-old Rosalie and 3-year-old Francesca — all have thalassemia, but not through the accident of the couple’s genetics. Tracy and Patrick adopted the girls from China, specifically because they, too, have the potentially ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 15, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Irene Sege Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories adoption china Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Dr. Daniel Bauer thalassemia Source Type: news

Sharing biliary atresia — and strength to beat it
Everywhere Melissa Villaseñor goes her little sister, Isabella, follows. The 6- and 2-year-olds share just about everything. They share big personalities. They share a love of being lively and loud. And, they also share something else — they were both born with biliary atresia. “I am not going to lie,” says Andrea Torre, the girls’ mom. “I sometimes break down and cry and ask myself, ‘Why me?’” Biliary atresia is a chronic, progressive liver condition that is fatal if left untreated. For most parents, having just one child with this rare, life-threatening disease is ov...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 14, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Our Patients’ Stories biliary atresia Dr. Heung-Bae Kim Dr. Khashavar Vakili Liver transplant Liver Transplant Program Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Source Type: news

4 questions parents have about moyamoya disease
Last month, families from across the country gathered at Boston Children’s Hospital to celebrate World Moyamoya Day. The expert speakers at the Moyamoya Family Day Symposium shared the latest information about this rare but very serious condition with parents and patients alike. Moyamoya disease occurs when the walls of the internal carotid arteries — the vessels that supply blood to important areas of the brain — become thickened and narrowed. As a result, blood flow to the brain slows, making blood clots more likely. Kids with moyamoya disease are at significantly higher risk of having a stroke, as well...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 13, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Ask the Expert Diseases & Conditions Dr. Edward Smith moyamoya Moyamoya Disease Program Source Type: news

A happy return: Catching up with Eva
It’s about 2,400 miles from Salt Lake City to Boston. But it’s a distance Jennifer and Vincent Ramirez are more than happy to travel to get care for their daughter Eva. The family first traveled to Boston Children’s Hospital in January of 2016 for surgery to remove Eva’s encephalocele — a surgery her doctors in Utah had said wasn’t possible. This spring, the family was back in Boston for a follow-up visit with the surgeons who performed her surgery, Dr. Mark Proctor, neurosurgeon-in-chief, and Dr. John Meara, plastic-surgeon-in-chief. For this visit, Jennifer and Vincent had decided to b...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 12, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Craniofacial Program Dr. John Meara Dr. Mark Proctor encephalocele Source Type: news

Breaking down the facts about fractures
Thousands of children, adolescents and young adults come through the doors of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Orthopedic Center every year with the same diagnosis – fracture. Whether on the wrist or the ankle or anywhere in between, a fracture can be painful and restricting to an active child or teen. What is a fracture? A fracture is a bone that is partially or completely broken. There are two types of fractures: A complete fracture is when a bone is broken into two or more pieces. An incomplete fracture is when a bone is cracked or partially broken. Incomplete fractures are more common during childhood, b...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 8, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Health & Wellness Kids' Safety Dr. Peter Waters Orthopedic Center Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic Source Type: news

Is it safe to give my baby probiotics for colic?
Having a colicky, inconsolable baby can be one of the toughest parts of parenthood. Seeing your newborn cry and scream — without the slightest clue as to how you can help — is enough to make most moms and dads want to curl up and cry right along with the child. Making things worse, science isn’t really sure what causes colic, making a quick and simple treatment hard to find in many cases. “Fussy or colicky babies can be a source of stress for parents, caregivers and doctors,” says Dr. Sonia Ballal, a gastroenterologist atBoston Children’s Hospital. “Right now, we do not completely ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 6, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tripp Underwood Tags: Parenting colic gastroenterology Gastroesophageal reflux disease probiotics Source Type: news

Experiencing how spinal fusion treats scoliosis before surgery day
The Spinal Program at Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center has partnered with the Simulator Program to offer a unique simulation experience to patients who will undergo surgical treatment for scoliosis, a procedure called spinal fusion, this summer. “In my experience, patients do better when they are well prepared for surgery,” says Dr. Michael Glotzbecker, a pediatric spine specialist and surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, who performs dozens of spinal fusion surgeries each year to treat children with scoliosis. That’s why Glotzbecker teamed up with Brianna O&...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 5, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Research and Innovation Michael Glotzbecker Orthopedic Center scoliosis Simulation Program spinal fusion surgery Source Type: news

Twist of fate: Anna reconnects with the oncologist who saved her life
Credit: Mark Dela Cruz Anna Protsiou was five in 2002 when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. She remembers pain and the fruit-scented anesthesia masks that led her to stop eating cherries. She remembers hospital arts and crafts projects. What she barely remember is the pediatric oncologist who saved her life. She was a young girl then who didn’t speak English, moving with her family from their native Greece to be treated for a year at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Now, after moving with her family to Canada in 2014, she’s a 20-year-old dance student at the Eg. School...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 2, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Irene Sege Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Research and Innovation Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Lisa Diller MD neuroblastoma Source Type: news

Living with Rett syndrome, living with hope
For the first year of her life, Ava Gryniewicz seemed to be developing like any other happy baby. She had learned a few words, including “mama” and “dada,” and was picking up Cheerios with pincer fingers. But by the time she was 14 months old, everything had changed. Ava started to lose these skills and wasn’t reaching other milestones. At the recommendation of her daycare center, she started early intervention. “She wasn’t keeping up and her daycare providers were concerned that standard daycare might be too much for her,” says her mom, Joanne. That’s when Joanne and h...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - June 1, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Alycia Berg Augmentative communication Dr. Jonathan Picker rett syndrome Rett Syndrome Program Suzanne Rose Source Type: news

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children: What parents need to know
When Lauren was just under two years old, she developed a fever of 103, was irritable and lost her appetite. Mom, who suspected her daughter’s condition was more than “just a bug,” scheduled an appointment with Lauren’s pediatrician. Based on her symptoms and physical examination, Lauren was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). The tiny tot was treated and quickly felt better. Unfortunately, the relief was short-lived. To mom’s surprise, the UTI returned. “This is an incredibly common story,” says Dr. Caleb Nelson, urologist in the Boston Children’s Hospi...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 31, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Diseases & Conditions Department of Urology Dr. Caleb Nelson recurrent UTI urinary tract infections Source Type: news

Making progress: Eli is thriving after laryngeal cleft repair
Eli Bustard is pretty laid back for a 3-year-old — until he sees a picture of a dinosaur. “He’s obsessed,” laughs his mother, Nicole, who reports that Eli has been poring over a library book about these prehistoric beasts. Some of his other favorite pastimes: playing with trucks, caring for his Boston terrier and climbing up and down the musical stairs at Boston Children’s Hospital, which play a cheerful melody with every step. A native of Bangor, Maine, Eli first came to Boston Children’s when he was just a few months old. Although he was born about three weeks early, he appeared to be ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 30, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Airway Disorders Dr. Reza Rahbar laryngeal cleft Source Type: news

Caring for the female athlete: A guide for athletes, parents and coaches
Since the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, the number of girls competing in high school sports has increased from 295,000 to nearly 3.2 million, and more women are playing collegiate sports than ever before. As these numbers continue to rise, and girls and young women become more empowered through sports, awareness of the health issues specific to female athletes has become increasingly important. Dr. Kathryn Ackerman, medical director of Boston Children’s Female Athlete Program, and the program’s sports dietitian, Laura Moretti, share need-to-know information and offer str...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 25, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Female Athlete Program Kathryn Ackerman Laura Moretti Source Type: news

Is your teen depressed? Seven tips for parents
Your daughter comes home from school, slams down her books and retreats to her room with a scowl. Since starting high school, you’ve noticed she’s been moody and irritable and her grades are starting to suffer. Should you be worried about depression? “Almost everyone goes through periods of feeling sad or irritable for usually brief periods of time,” says Dr. Oscar Bukstein, associate psychiatrist-in-chief and vice chairman of psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. “What sets depression apart is the presence of distress or impairment that interferes with daily life.” Bukstein sa...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 23, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Diseases & Conditions Mental Health Teen Health adolescent depression child depression Dr. Oscar Bukstein Source Type: news

Keeping up with Amanda: Life after brain surgery
In most ways, Amanda LePage is just like any other rambunctious fourth grader. She loves school, dance class, playing basketball and keeping up with her twin sister Macy and older brother Nathan. Sometimes it just takes her a little longer to do these everyday things. That’s because Amanda has been through a lot in her short nine years. Amanda was just 5 months old when she was brought by helicopter to Boston Children’s Hospital for a hemorrhage in her brain from an intracranial aneurysm, a type of vascular malformation. Despite long odds, Amanda survived two life-saving brain surgeries and a massive strok...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 22, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories brain aneurysm Dr. Caroline Robson Dr. Craig McClain Dr. Edward Smith Dr. Peter Manley Hydrocephalus low-grade glioma pediatric stroke Source Type: news

Faces of IBD: Celebrating our patients and their caregivers
IBD nurse practitioner Caitlin Dolan educating her patient Jenna, 11 Some say it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), our patients and their families depend on a “village” of caregivers — gastroenterologists, nurses, dietitians, social workers and more — to carry them through their journey. In honor of World IBD Day, May 19, we are celebrating the patients who inspire us and the dedicated Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center team that diagnose, educate and treat nearly 1,500 patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 19, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Diseases & Conditions Research and Innovation Athos Bousvaros IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Scott Snapper Source Type: news

Bike safety 101: A guide for parents
Learning to ride a bike is one of the most exciting childhood milestones. It often involves a few falls, scrapes and tears, but as parents we know it’s worth it because it opens up a whole new world of adventure and freedom for our kids. Exposing children to new risks can be nerve-wracking, but by understanding specific dangers and getting kids actively involved in their own safety, we can help them avoid unnecessary injury. Our bike safety guide will help you prevent injury and protect your children, while still allowing them to have fun on two wheels. Prevention: The ABC Quick Check Safe riding starts with having a...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 18, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Patrick Bibbins Tags: Health & Wellness Kids' Safety Source Type: news

The playbook for protecting your pitcher
Repeatedly throwing a baseball as hard as possible is exhausting, and, if done too often, can be harmful. Following pitching rules, adopting the right workout regimen and allowing time to rest can help prevent a Little League pitcher from getting injured. 1. Follow pitching rules Keeping pitch counts (the number of pitches thrown by a pitcher in a game) low is very important for the well-being of a Little League pitcher, says Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine injury prevention specialist Corey Dawkins. “Most young pitchers don’t have good mechanics and...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 17, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kim Slade Tags: Health & Wellness Kids' Safety Division of Sports Medicine Micheli Center Source Type: news

Chloe ’s smile: Moving the needle on Williams syndrome research
“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh Her wide, warm smiles are generous. Even strangers can’t resist smiling back. “Chloe loves people and relationships,” says her mom, Johanna. “She can completely change a person’s demeanor with one of her incredible smiles.” Now, Chloe’s powerful smile is bringing together supporters and scientists to advance research on Williams syndrome, the rare neurodevelopmental disorder she was born with 11 years ago. What is Williams syndrome? Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that affects 1 in 10,000 ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 16, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Research and Innovation Dr. Amy Roberts Dr. James Lock Dr. Leslie Smoot Heart Center Williams syndrome Source Type: news

Experience Journal: From Venezuela for the chance to live
At five months old, Diana was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart defect (CHD) that couldn’t be treated in her home country of Venezuela. “Being told that your child has no chance of surviving is devastating,” says Diana’s mom, Alejandra. “We were given no hope.” Research into where in the world Diana would receive the best treatment led her parents to the Heart Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. Throughout Diana’s journey to health, Alejandra relied on support from her husband, her sisters and the com...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 13, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories congenital heart defect Dr. Pedro del Nido Experience Journal Heart Center Source Type: news

Paying it forward: Care for son ’s craniosynostosis spurs mom to run marathon
Will Flanigan can’t stop giggling. Whether he’s teasing his older sister, Spencer, or charming his way out of trouble with his parents, this toddler “is always cracking himself — and us — up,” says his mother, Caroline. “We call him Will the Thrill.” On April 17, 2017, Will brought his good humor from his home in Dallas to the Boston Marathon finish line, where he joined his family in cheering on Caroline as she ran. But this wasn’t just any race. Caroline was running with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Miles for Miracles team for a very special reason: A...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 12, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Boston Marathon Craniofacial Program craniosynostosis Dr. Mark Proctor Source Type: news

Journeys to excellence: Stories of three award-winning nurses
Cassandra Fleurentin Every year, the New England Regional Black Nurses Association (NERBNA) recognizes nurses for their outstanding commitment to their profession and for going above and beyond in their designated specialty area. Read the stories of the three Boston Children’s Hospital nurses honored with this year’s Excellence in Nursing Awards. Cassandra Fleurentin: BSN, staff nurse I, 9 South Growing up, Cassandra’s mother had a chronic illness. Sitting by her bedside day in and day out and spending much of her childhood in hospitals and emergency rooms motivated Cassandra to become a nurse. &ldqu...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 11, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Andrea Vega Tags: Caregivers nursing Source Type: news

A dream deferred but not denied by ACL tear
The dream of playing college soccer was within reach. Emily had been working on her game since she was four years old, and at 16 was now co-captain of both her high school and club teams. Colleges were taking note. Just three games into club season, Emily was on the field in North Carolina, running back to her net when she tore her left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). She heard her knee pop, and knew immediately what had happened. “I’ve always had a high tolerance for pain, but that definitely raised the bar,” she says. Her mother Lauri can still hear her daughter’s screams from that day as s...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 10, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Our Patients’ Stories ACL surgery ACL tear Division of Sports Medicine Dr. Benton Heyworth Micheli Center Source Type: news

When nursing runs in the family
For some, being a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital is a family affair. In this video, meet a few of the men and women who care for patients and families alongside their own siblings, parents, children and spouses: Sisters-in-law Shanna Barker (MICU) and Kelly Wietecha (MICU) Caitlin Dolan (Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and her mother Kathy Waddicor (Adolescent Medicine) Sisters Michelle Audain (MSICU) and Pascale Audain (MICU) Pat Pratt (Nursing Director of Patient Services — Procedure Units) and her daughter Amy Sparrow (Center for Motility and Functional Disorders) Paula Conrad (MI...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 8, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Caregivers nursing Source Type: news

Step by step: Sloane ’s incredible journey with laryngeal cleft
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.Resisting the urge to rush has been a familiar theme for Sloane and her parents ever since she was born — although, ironically, she arrived in a hurry. Tarra had experienced a placental abruption, requiring an emergency C-section. Things only got more complicated. After T...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 4, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Airway Disorders Dr. Reza Rahbar laryngeal cleft Source Type: news

Carrying Savanna through her journey with cloacal malformation
When two-year-old Savanna Bluford enters Boston Children’s Colorectal and Pelvic Malformation Center, she quickly gravitates toward the waiting room’s interactive light board. Sporting pigtails, sparkly sneakers and an angelic smile, the playful toddler’s attention quickly turns to her doctor — the Center’s Co-Director Dr. Belinda Dickie. The two light up with smiles and exchange hugs as if old friends — and that, they are. Savanna was born in South Carolina with a rare and complex birth defect affecting the gastrointestinal, urological and reproductive systems. The condition, called cov...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 3, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Belinda Dickie cloacal malformation Colorectal and Pelvic Malformation Center Leonel Rodriguez Source Type: news

Prenatal diagnosis sets James up for success
I remember it like yesterday. Pregnant with my first child, I went to my 9-week scheduled ultrasound not really knowing what to expect. I heard a little baby’s heartbeat in my belly! I was blown away. When you go for your 18-week ultrasound, make sure your baby’s heart is checked. A simple scan can change everything. ~ Elizabeth At the 18-week scan, it appeared that the baby only had one kidney. The doctor seemed to think that everything else was normal, but he told me I had the option to make an appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital for a fetal echocardiogram. My husband had to work that da...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 2, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Elizabeth Swift Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Andrew Powell Fetal Cardiology Program Francis Fynn-Thompson Heart Center Pulmonary atresia Tetralogy of Fallot tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia ultrasound Source Type: news

Sleepy teen finds relief in narcolepsy diagnosis
For as long as Maeve Sheehy can remember, she’s had short spells of feeling like she was about to fall over. “It wasn’t like feeling faint, it was more like my knees would buckle underneath me,” says Maeve, now 16. “I would instinctually try to keep from falling by bracing myself.” Sometimes the bracing didn’t work and Maeve would topple over. If she was with friends, she’d pretend she had tripped, to cover it up. But she secretly worried something was wrong with her. When she tried to explain the falling feeling to her parents and doctors, she was told she was probably dehyd...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 2, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders Dr. Eric Zhou Dr. Kiran Maski Narcolepsy Source Type: news

Milestones made possible #becauseofadonor
There are more than 80 children currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Pediatric Transplant Center team is grateful for the donors who give these kids a second chance. Meet Maggie. The 20-year-old received her first double-lung transplant at 4 years old and her second at 7 years old. #becauseofadonor, Maggie is able to go to college. Meet Tom. At 15 years old, he received a liver transplant. #becauseofadonor, Tom, now 22, is able to run the Boston Marathon. Meet Aaron. The 10-year-old received his heart transplant at just 1 year old. #becauseofadonor, ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - May 1, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Donate life double lung transplant heart transplant Heart transplant program Liver transplant Liver Transplant Program Lung Transplant Program National Donate Life Month organ donation Pediatric Transplant Cente Source Type: news

Ask the Mediatrician: Should I let my child watch ’13 Reasons Why’?
My daughter is 13. Her friends in middle school have recently become obsessed with the Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why.” I haven’t read the book or watched the show, but have been seeing a few news articles that worry me that the show may be dangerous for kids to watch graphic depictions of suicide, bullying and forced sex. My daughter feels that it is only “drama” (in the teen use of the word), and she’s been feeling left out of the conversation with her friends. Is it ok for me to let her watch it? ~ Just One Reason Why Not, USA Dear Just, Your question is timely. Many parents (and ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 30, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Michael Rich MD MPH Tags: Mental Health Parenting Teen Health Ask the Mediatrician Depression suicide Source Type: news

No gluten, no problem
Twelve years ago – at ages 5 and 3 – we were diagnosed with celiac disease. This means for the rest of our lives, we can’t eat any gluten whatsoever because it damages our intestines and we become really sick. Celiac disease is a lifelong intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats contaminated with gluten from other products. In people with celiac disease, gluten damages the lining of the intestines. This can prevent them from absorbing nutrients and cause a variety of other symptoms. CD is always treatable by changes in diet. Some people don’t eat gluten by choice, b...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 26, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emma and Abby Frank Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories celiac disease Dr. Dascha Weir Source Type: news

A new life for Lynkin after encephalocele surgery
When you meet Lynkin Bell, the first things you notice are her big personality and chubby cheeks. You might also see how she adores her brother Lukis and hamming it up for the camera. But you’d never guess that this playful 14-month-old from Texas wasn’t expected to survive, never mind talk, stand or play peekaboo like a pro. And yet, thanks to her parents’ faith and persistence — and surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital — Lynkin can do all those things, and lots more, with the gusto befitting any toddler her age. “It’s a miracle,” says Kaylen Gaston, Lynkin’s mo...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 24, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Ellen Greenlaw Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Craniofacial Program Dr. John Meara Dr. Mark Proctor encephalocele Source Type: news

Ask the expert: What is the female athlete triad and how can it be prevented?
The spring athletics season is in full swing and for those at the high school and college level, practices and game schedules can be intense. When you blend this physical commitment with the demands of a hectic academic schedule, sometimes maintaining healthy eating habits and positive energy balance can be challenging. Dr. Kathryn Ackerman, medical director of Boston Children’s Female Athlete Program, shares important information about a condition called the female athlete triad and offers tools to keep young athletes healthy, energized and at the top of their game. What is the female ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 21, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Maureen McCarthy Tags: Ask the Expert Female Athlete Program female athlete triad Kathryn Ackerman Source Type: news

He lost his sight to cancer, but not his vision of a full life
When Tim Conners collected his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2012 at the age of 18, he was blind from childhood leukemia that had spread to his optic nerve and craving inspiration to transcend his disability. A football player and wrestler who’d never been an outdoorsman, he asked to meet Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on seven continents. Tim’s wish came true. He had 2½ terrifying but transformative days of outdoor adventures in Colorado with Erik, who lost his sight to a degenerative eye disorder at 13. Now Tim is training to cl...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 20, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Irene Sege Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center stem cell transplant Source Type: news

A life taken. A life given. A life shared.
Kaitlyn and Hannah When she read the article in the Cape Cod Times about the 11-year-old girl who underwent a life-saving liver transplant, Melissa Dunphe knew. “Too many pieces fit for it not to be.” She knew that the child, who was at the same hospital on the same floor on the same day, had to be the one who received her five-year-old daughter Kaitlyn’s liver. Five years earlier, at eight months old, Kaitlyn was in a car accident that left her without the use of her limbs and unable to breathe on her own. During her short life, her parents made moments matter. “She was a very happy child,” h...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 19, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Donate life Donate life month Liver transplant Liver Transplant Program National Donate Life Month organ donation organ donor Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Source Type: news

Trusting their instincts: Family finds help for laryngeal cleft
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...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 18, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Center for Airway Disorders Dr. Reza Rahbar laryngeal cleft Source Type: news

Ask the expert: What is the best way to correct my child ’s crossed eye?
Dr. David Hunter is experienced in using traditional strabismus surgery and Botox injection to correct a child’s crossed eye. If you see that your child’s eye has become crossed, or he or she complains of having double vision, you may be struggling to find clear answers about what caused this to happen and the best way to get your child’s eyes working together again. When the sudden onset of an inward-turning crossed eye doesn’t respond to glasses and isn’t associated with other systemic or structural disease, it’s known as acute comitant esotropia. This condition is quite rare...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 14, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Ask the Expert Research and Innovation Botox Dr. David Hunter esotropia strabismus Source Type: news

Reading to teach and heal: Best books for 8-12 year olds
Books are great tools for teaching empathy to children. They can help kids understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes — someone with a physical or mental disability, chronic illness or learning difference. They can also help kids with medical issues see how other kids cope — which can be validating or even help spark new ideas. And books help younger generations recognize that no matter what obstacle they may face, they’re still just kids, and they’re not alone. Today, many children’s book authors are weaving characters with me...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 13, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Patty Lenz Bovie Tags: Parenting autism cerebral palsy craniofacial anomaly scoliosis Source Type: news

A father ’s hope for his son’s life
Juan and Fredy in 2017. 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...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 12, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Cameron Trenor Dr. Carolyn Rogers Dr. Darren Orbach Dr. Reza Rahbar Dr. Salim Afshar interventional radiology juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma tumor Source Type: news

My blue-eyed boy: The decision to donate life
Hot, humid air arrived that last week in June 2014. Our family was looking forward to a summer of entertaining, barbecuing and sharing our newly built patio with friends. Spending time as a family hiking, traveling or just hanging out at home was important to us. Aidan was ready to head off to a three-day goalie lacrosse camp. It was something he had begged to do all winter long. Aidan loved life and he lived it with passion. Aidan or AJ, depending on who you asked, had his future completely planned. He played basketball, swam and skied. As a Boy Scout, he had spent many days camping and hiking throughout New England and h...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 11, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Krista Skinner Tags: Parenting Donate life month National Donate Life Month organ donation Source Type: news

The Boston Marathon: Brave and beyond
Brave. It’s the word inscribed on the simple band Mary Tremper wears on her left wrist. The band is a reminder from her son Shane that she possesses the strength and courage to bravely face the future. When Mary, a Boston Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles runner, found the band in the hospital gift shop she knew it was from Shane. And as Mary has shared her son’s story with her teammates and listened to theirs, they have redefined brave, together. A few of their stories, including the Tremper’s, follow. Brave: Remembering Shane Shane in the Boston Children’s NICU. “I run for Shane. ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 10, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Lisa Fratt Tags: Our Patients’ Stories Liver transplant NICU RSV Source Type: news

Spring health cheat sheet
As the spring weather approaches, many common winter infections recede. However, warmer temperatures can introduce a new set of health challenges. As trees and flowers bloom and grass grows, susceptible children will start to display symptoms of seasonal allergies, triggering flares of asthma and eczema. And, As children spend more time outdoors, parents also need to watch for exposure to ticks, poison ivy and excess sun. Here are a few tips to keeping your child healthy this spring. Seasonal allergies: What can you do? During allergy season: have your child bathe after spending time outdoors to ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 7, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Carolyn Sax Tags: Health & Wellness Parenting allergies asthma Carolyn Sax conjunctivitis lyme disease sunburn Source Type: news

Focus on: Autism spectrum disorder
April is Autism Awareness Month and there is a lot in the news about autism. More and more children — up to one out of 68 — are diagnosed with autism. Sesame Street even has a new character, Julia, who has autism. But what exactly is this condition, how does it affect children and what can you do to help? What is autism? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder of very early brain development that is approximately four times more common in boys than girls. Autism spectrum disorder was previously recognized as several separate disorders — including autistic disorder, pervasive develop...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 6, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Carolyn Bridgemohan and Sarah Spence Tags: Diseases & Conditions Parenting autism Autism Spectrum Center autism spectrum disorder Dr. Carolyn Bridgemohan Dr. Sarah Spence Source Type: news

Double take: The special approach that corrected one child ’s vision overnight
Dr. David Hunter is a pioneer in detecting and treating children’s eye conditions with a range of new and tried-and-true technologies and techniques. “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 ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 5, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Kat J. McAlpine Tags: Caregivers Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Research and Innovation david hunter Department of Ophthalmology lazy eye minimally invasive surgery strabismus Source Type: news

Superhero Joey: Five-year-old fights moyamoya disease
It’s been said that not all heroes wear capes — but Joey Gallagher owns several. The five-year-old has already amassed a collection of superhero gear, from a Superman Halloween costume to a t-shirt emblazoned with the Batman logo. Yet even the most diehard comic book fan would likely admit that feats like flying, leaping tall buildings and fighting bad guys don’t hold a candle to the challenges this little boy has already surmounted. Just last June, Joey was out of town with his family when he had what his parents, Leila and Scott, feared was a seizure. Clinicians in the emergency department dismissed the...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 4, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jessica Cerretani Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories childhood stroke Dr. Edward Smith Dr. Michael Scott moyamoya Moyamoya Disease Program Source Type: news

6 ways to celebrate National Donate Life Month
Each year, during the month of April, National Donate Life Month draws attention to those who have saved and healed lives through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Here are six simple ways to participate, celebrate and educate. Become an organ donor. Register to be a donor at registerme.org. Designate “organ donor” on your driver’s license. Visit transplantliving.org to learn more about becoming a living donor. Spread the word. Inspire others to sign up for the donor registry by sharing information through social media: “Like” facebook.com/donatelife. “Follow” @do...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - April 3, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Emily Williams Tags: Diseases & Conditions Donate life month National Donate Life Month organ donation Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC) Social media and health care Source Type: news

Bella is back, thanks to a very special kidney
Bella received a kidney transplant from a living donor — her dad, Bill. When they boarded the flight to Hawaii, Nancie and Bill had no idea their 12-year-old daughter was days away from being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It was spring break and everyone was excited for the family adventure to begin. The day before the trip, Bella saw a local orthopedic specialist after feeling pain and weakness in her legs. She otherwise felt well, but with softball season approaching, she didn’t want to risk injury. The specialist drew blood and was hoping to have some answers for the family upon their return...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 30, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Jenny Fernandez Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dr. Nancy Rodig end-stage renal disease kidney transplant Kidney Transplant Program living donor Source Type: news

Spencer gets back on the court after cancer
For much of his 17 years, Spencer Riley has lived to play basketball. This winter, his favorite sport helped the teenager get back to life. Riley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016 and treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center that summer. He underwent an intensive three-month treatment cycle: one week of inpatient chemotherapy at Boston Children’s Hospital, two weeks of recuperation at home, and then back to Boston Children’s. While occasionally well enough to go on family outings, he was still too weak to shoot or even dribble a basketball. But the game was ...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - March 29, 2017 Category: Pediatrics Authors: Saul Wisnia Tags: Diseases & Conditions Our Patients’ Stories Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Dr. Dan Benedetti non-Hodgkin lymphoma Source Type: news