Celebrations and superheroes dominated our June “In the Moment” posts. We invite you to take a glance at those you may have missed, or a second peek at those you’ve already enjoyed.
1. When 16-year-old Ryan Hayes left for a school trip to Chicago with the Firestone High School choir on Valentine’s Day he was feeling fine. Three days later he was in the Akron Children’s emergency department barely able to breathe. Ryan had contracted influenza B that left him gravely ill and in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) on a life support system called ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation).
2. A few years ago Abby Ernst had doubts that she would make it to graduation. Missing dozens & dozens of days, Abby suffered through the pain of migraines in the darkness of her bedroom. But she walked proudly across the stage with fellow graduates of Firestone High School.
3. Lea Heidman and Brian Malone want their daughter, Alyssa, to be remembered for her loving spirit and desire to help others battling addiction. Now, their generosity is supporting our new Addiction Services Program to provide education, prevention, screening and referrals for families fighting the drug epidemic.
4. At age 16, Jackie Custer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (#ALL) and suffered a stroke during her treatment. But the self-named “Cancer Crusher” is here to show everyone that there’s always a reason to smile.
5. 6-year-old Custer Tanner is no stranger to medical procedures – born prematurely, endured dialysis and, then, a kidney transplant at age 3. His mom, Shellie, happily drives from their home in Bedford to Akron for Custer’s frequent blood work because of the gentle hand of phlebotomist Tammie Smith.
7. We celebrated #HospitalWeek to thank our staff for their dedication to our patients and their families. From gifts and sweet treats to yoga in Perkins Park, we enjoyed giving back to those who live our mission every day!
8. Born 2 months premature and stricken by sickle cell disease, identical twins Ava & Olivia Lee have worked hard to manage their pain episodes. They continue to attend regular checkups, follow a proper diet, take their medications, receive blood transfusions, and do everything else you would expect of an Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series hero!