Meet Our Patients
At Children’s Hospital of Illinois, we care for thousands of children each year. Every child has a story, and touches our lives. Take a few minutes to meet a few of these special young people.
Technology today often allows us to know when something is wrong with a child before she is even born. That’s what happened with Mercedez.
Alondra Resendez Ayala
When 8 year old Alondra Resendiz-Ayala began losing her balance and falling earlier this year, her mother knew the symptoms all too well. The Bloomington, Illinois girl’s brain tumor was back.
Terrance Davis, Jr.
Ever since Marlena Young was just a few months pregnant with her son, Terrance Davis Jr., now 2, she knew they faced a challenging road ahead. An ultrasound showed that Terrance’s kidneys were smaller than normal and full of urine—without much normal kidney tissue.
At a glance, 5-month-old Sawyer Dawes is a healthy, happy baby boy. He loves when his parents, Jamie and Joe Dawes, read and cuddle with him. He smiles during strolls through their Champaign neighborhood. Yet despite his breezy demeanor, Sawyer’s start to life has been anything but easy.
A diagnosis of diabetes does not mean the end of an active life for a child. With good management and education, the opportunities are endless.
Allie's parents always thought she seemed different from other children her age. Turns out they were right.
From the moment Sawyer Kaufman took his first breath, he was in a fight for his life. Fortunately, the NICU care team at Children’s Hospital of Illinois was with him every step of the way. Born 16 weeks early, little Sawyer defied the odds.
One snowy afternoon last December, Adam Kinsinger, 13, took his sled behind his family’s house in Washington, Illinois, like he’d done countless times before. Except this time, instead of simply sledding down the hill without any obstacles, he ventured much deeper into the woods.
A short visit to the doctor ended with Gavin Knowles rushed to the Children's Hospital of Illinois. He turned cold and purple during that visit, but teamwork saved his life.
Within moments of Cienna Mendez’s birth in November 2011, doctors knew there was a problem with her heart. “She was born with a heart murmur; if you put your hand on her chest, you could even feel it,” says Cienna’s mother, Katlyn DeSpain. “It was like a heavy thud.”
When Emma was born, things weren’t coming easily for her. Eating was a struggle, and she didn’t have the typical strength and energy of a typical newborn.
When Hannah Negray, now 17, was born in Streator, Illinois, she seemed perfectly healthy. But a few hours after her birth, her pediatrician detected a problem.
Garret & Gabe Ruskusky
Caring for a patient also means providing help for parents and family.
Twenty years ago a child weighing less than two pounds would have little to no chance of survival. Today, that is changing.
When Luke Snodgrass was born, his parents, Justin and Jennifer, believed their baby boy was perfectly healthy. But shortly after his birth, doctors discovered he had a heart murmur.
When Stanley’s grandmother found him floating in their backyard inflatable pool, he wasn’t breathing.
This young woman is a shining example of healthy living. A sophomore at Princeville High School, she enjoys softball, basketball, and golf. Taylor helps her family plan nutritious meals, and she rarely digs into a snack without first studying the food label to make sure she isn’t consuming too many calories.
Hannah and Children’s Hospital made international headlines in April 2013, when she was the recipient of the first bioartificial trachea transplant. Her story’s ending is sad, but has opened up a new world of possibilities for other children.
This avid athlete—who plays basketball, baseball, and football—wants to be in the action at all times. But in June 2013, some scary symptoms threatened to keep the Washington teenager out of the game.