The Patient Ambassadors are patients who have received life-saving or life-changing care at CHRISTUS Children’s. They serve as ambassadors for the Hospital in the community, sharing their story to help drive participation in local fundraising campaigns and events, educating the community about CHRISTUS Children’s and why it should be supported, and helping reinforce the Hospital’s position as a health care leader.
Destany, a varisty cheerleader at 16 years old, was at the top of a pyramid when it unexpectedly collapsed. She endured a severe concussion, spinal shock, and was unable to walk on her own. She had major loss of motor strength on the right side of her body. She could not walk, write, or feel with her right hand. She had trouble reading and suffered from severe headaches. Destany underwent six months of extensive occupational and physical therapy and made a dramatic recovery.
Marceline and Phoebe were born at 23-weeks-gestation at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – New Braunfels. The twins both weighed just a little over one pound each and were extremely frail. Marceline and Phoebe were immediately airlifted to CHRISTUS Children’s for further treatment and were admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Upon arrival, doctors quickly got to work to care for these tiny girls. Phoebe underwent surgery right away to repair a small bowel perforation and continued to have surgeries on her GI tract. Marceline had extra blood flowing to her lungs and received surgery to close the artery as well as surgeries to correct cranial abnormalities. Today, Marceline and Phoebe are two fiery five-year-olds.
Holly and Heather were born severely premature, weighing just one pound, 10 ounces, and two pounds, respectively. The identical twins were rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at CHRISTUS Children’s and were fighting for their lives. Holly has undergone eight resuscitations, 17 brain surgeries, two lung surgeries, two intestinal surgeries, three eye surgeries, one cranial reconstruction, and more. Thanks to generous supporters like you, the sisters beat all the odds and continue to grow stronger together.
In October 2016, 18-year-old Marc had an infected hair follicle and his mom knew something was not right. After several tests and hospital visits, Marc was referred to specialists at CHRISTUS Children’s. Doctors performed a biopsy and learned Marc had Leukemia. Marc underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, spinal taps, and radiation therapy over 3.5 years and completed his chemotherapy in January 2020. Marc tries to stay positive and plans to start sharing his story with the community with hopes of helping others in the fight against cancer.
Camilla was born with Trisomy 21 – Down Syndrome and had two holes in her heart. She underwent emergency life-saving surgery. Camilla’s mom, Jennifer, had fundraised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for several years as a Walmart associate. She had never seen where her fundraising efforts went, until she had to experience services at a children’s hospital first-hand when Camilla was born. Camilla continues to see several specialists at CHRISTUS Children’s.
When 12-year-old Violet started losing weight, experiencing mild panic attacks, and losing color in her skin, her parents sought help from her pediatrician. After running labs on multiple occasions, results showed significant for moderate anemia, which prompted a referral to pediatric hematology at CHRISTUS Children’s. After more tests, Violet was diagnosed with myeloid-lymphoid neoplasm with eosinophilia (MLN-eo), a hematologic neoplasm in which, due to an underlying gene arrangement, the bone marrow makes too many copies of a type of blood cell called eosinophils. Her diagnosis is extremely rare in pediatric patients, especially in females, making the diagnosis very difficult and unusual. Violet’s doctors also did a baseline check of her organs and found that her heart had suffered some damage from her diagnosis. Violet started immunotherapy and heart treatment and she slowly began getting better. Violet is doing great today and hopes to grow up to pursue a career in the medical field to help other patients like herself.