tv FOX 29 News Special Childrens Miracle Network FOX November 28, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST
hospitals across the country. ♪ good evening. i'm julie, since 1983, children's miracle network has raised more than $5 billion for 170 children's hospitals across the united states and canada. their motto together we safe kids lives. for the next half hour in this special report, i'll introduce to you some of the children touched by children's miracle network hospitals. right now, we begin with a little boy with a big personality. his passion for sports is on hold right now after suffering a
stroke at just eight years old. dawn timmeney takes us to philadelphia where doctors are now guiding him along the road to recovery. ♪ >> reporter: 10-year-old evan box lee of cherry hill, new jersey, is trying to master the trombone. ♪ >> reporter: it's all new to evan but he's embracing his musical side. ♪ >> i learned a song called hot cross buns. ♪ >> he's loud but i think he's doing pretty well. >> reporter: pretty well indeed. especially considering evan loves sports especially soccer, but now that's limited to kicking the ball around in the backyard with his older sister mikayla. he can run track but no contact sports for fear of a head injury. a tough pill to swallow when you're in the fourth grade. ♪ >> the hardest thing is that i
can't do certain thing like ride my bike and play soccer. ♪ >> reporter: the reason for the restrictions evan had a stroke at eight years old. it all started with severe headaches in august of 2013. >> he cep getting headaches, and he eventua eventually like withn of peek had multiple haag during the day. he woke up at night with a headache. >> it almost fell like someone was hammering my head. >> reporter: his pediatrician ordered an mri but it came back normal. the headaches persisted. so evan started seeing a neurologist doctors thought it might be migraines until another symptom suddenly developed. numbness. >> he described it as feeling like his fingers weren't there. >> reporter: that was in october of 2013. his mom now wondering could this ab stroke? >> i totally put it out of my head because it seemed so abnormal for somebody who was eight to be having a stroke.
>> reporter: evan was having difficulty walking and talking. his mom rushed him to the nearest hospital. >> i was terrified. he was crying. um but he wouldn't verbalize at all. >> reporter: box lee called her husband and while they waited in the er, evan started to feel better after a few tests doctors were ready to send him home. box lees say out of protocol the hospital called children's hospital of philadelphia where he was being treated for his headaches. a doctor there suggested a cat scan before releasing evan. that changed everything. >> suddenly the bock lees say there was a sense of urgency evan was taken to chop where they learn their little by had indeed suffered a stroke. ♪ >> i felt like i was going to faint. i could not believe hearing those words about my child, you know, because he was a perfectly healthy kid up until this point. >> we just cried and prayed. that's what we did. >> reporter: dr. rebecca i've
cord the director of chop's pediatric stroke program. >> evan had a very complicated series of events that caused his -- cough him to have a stroke. >> reporter: doctors discovered a small congenital tumor on evan's heart where they also found a blood clot had form. >> that clot or perhaps a bit of the tumor traveled together with the clot and blocked an artery in his brain and that was the first time that we knew he had a stroke. >> reporter: evan had heart surgery two days later to remove the tumor. he was in the hospital for over a month and had to go through accu facial, speech and physical therapy. >> part of the time i was in the hospital i forgotten how to wa walk. >> reporter: threw it all this little boy never stopped smiling. evan just kept telling himself one thing. >> i can do this. sometimes you just have to think the positive. >> reporter: his sister admits she was frightened for her
brother. she still can't believe how up credibly positive and brave evan was despite all the obstacles and challenges he faced. >> i've seen him be amazing when it was impossible to be amazing, and i don't know how many people can do that. but he did. >> reporter: but then another setback. >> months later after his initial stroke, we thought we were out of the woods, and low and behold etiquette another stroke. >> it's lottery chances for boy to have a stroke, a stroke and then a boy to have a second stroke from different source. >> reporter: this time it was the result of minor trauma to it is an artery in his neck which doctor eye cord says can happen in active children. >> the artery somehow has been subjected to some compression or twisting. as the result a clot form at the spot in the artery where that abnormality occurred. >> reporter: that clot went up to evan's brain and caused another series of strokes. that was march of 2014.
♪ >> reporter: a year and a half later, doctors still keep a close eye on evan but he's on the right medications and is making a phenomenal recovery. >> they call him a miracle because of what he's been through and how well he responds. >> do you still worry? >> yes. >> yes. >> i think things will never be exactly the same but, you know, we live and cherish each day. >> reporter: and evan, well he has a message to the doctors who saved his life. >> i would tell them thank you and keep up the good work. ♪ >> reporter: the family is now on a mission to get the word out that children can and do have strokes. >> it's important to know because it could happen to anybody. ♪ >> if people hear evan's story and they recognize those signs in somebody else, it could
easily safe somebody's live. ♪ >> reporter: dawn timmeney, fox news. for some young patients poor prognosis comes without warning. that was the case for a little girl in florida named tania who had at just 12 years old was told she need add new heart. now thanks to doctors at all children's hospital in st. petersburg and a donor tania is now a teenager returning to a normal life. here's kelly ring. >> reporter: the machine in the background is a sweet sound to the ears of tania's family. >> left ventricle -- shows her donated heart is working perfectly. >> the journey has been hard but with god it's been easy. >> how we doing. >> we're good. >> reporter: her heart began failing quickly. immediately she went on the transplant waiting list. in miraculous time a donor match was found. >> i don't know who they are but i'm just so blessed.
>> reporter: her symptoms of heart failure started innocent innocently. just difficulty breathing. a routine check up turned into a rush to the emergency room. >> where she was born with ab abnormal protein in her heart that caused her heart to weaken and enlarge. >> reporter: transplant was the only medical option to save the otherwise healthy vibrant teen. even though she doesn't know the donor's family, tania and her mom reached out to them with a special message. >> we celebrated a month with her having her new heart and she was thanking her donor and saying that she's living on for them both. >> reporter: tania needs life long medical follow up and wears temporary mask to prevent infection. she takes daily meds to keep her body from rejecting her new heart but she looks forward to returning to normal life. >> my main goal is i get to go back to my public school i'm going to do track for them. >> reporter: a grateful family
oakland had ever been before. the feat amazed her team of doctors and answered her parent's prayers. here's knoll walker. >> when you're six years old, there's the feeling anything is possible. >> daddy, what if you pick me up and i score? >> and then there's proving anything is possible. >> there you go. >> reporter: this is the first time briley -- >> i got five points. >> reporter: has played basketball in months. she's going to be miracle. i'm sorry. >> reporter: a miracle. >> that's obvious. >> reporter: it's a theme in her young life. >> i was hurting and stuff. >> reporter: looking at her now no one could have guessed just how stick briley was. >> so they put iv's in me. ♪ >> reporter: this was briley6
months ago. tethered by tunes to a heart and lung bypass machine in oakland. >> she couldn't breathe. she was gasping for air. like really... >> reporter: what her parents first thought was the flu. >> it progressively got worse. >> reporter: turned into a fight for life. >> panic and uncertainty and thinning of the worst. >> reporter: she had pneumonia that turned into a necrotic lung infection. >> it was just a huge huge problem. >> reporter: her lung tissue was dying. >> her lungs just weren't able to breathe for her. despite a ventilator and all the help they were giving her. >> reporter: briley medical team made the decision to put her on bypass to let her lungs rest and heal a last resort for the sickest of the sick. >> it's kind of the highest level of care that we can provide in the icu.
>> reporter: it can have big rewards but not without risk. >> if you can get over the infection and the lung doesn't heal, then ultimately it all doesn't work and there's high risk for, you know, for patient that is die on it. >> they told us, you know, a couple of occasions, you know, this isn't looking very good. we might lose her. >> like whoa we need to have a little talk with god about this. >> reporter: so they waited. >> we got to have fame immediately. >> reporter: and prayed. >> so my prayer every day was touch the minds and the motors and the thoughts, emotions of one that was going to be touching her, because threw them god was going to provide them whatever they needed to do the best thing for our daughter. ♪ >> reporter: patients are typically on bypass for one to two weeks. not briley. >> two weeks turned into a month.
>> reporter: and long longer. the whole time she lay in the intensive care unit defying the odds. >> on weekly basis she would challenge this group. and talk with thing we had -- no one had ever seen. >> she kept fighting. her parent kept fighting so we kept going. >> reporter: 51 days later, briley came off the bypass machine and set a children's hospital record in the process as the patient to be on it the longer. >> she's a miracle. ♪ >> she really is. >> there's still some scar fish. >> reporter: she isn't finish with doctors. >> you can feel especially right here. >> reporter: she still has regular check ups. > the doctors at children's hospital -- there you go. >> reporter: have become more like family. >> you want these? we know each other so well now. it's beautiful thing. >> there you go. it's a great story actually.
>> reporter: bonds formed through care and caring. >> did you have a good day? >> reporter: no one is turned away regardless of the ability to pay. >> at the end of the day, you really don't know who you're taking care of. 20 years from now, i could have been taking care of the mayor or the president. >> reporter: may be. >> you're not supposed to ask me question. she's supposed to. >> may be much she's got an opinion. >> reporter: or maybe -- is that camera on? >> coming up next it is a job that requires not just smarts
it's nothing, you think. can you be sure? ♪ if you see something, say something. report suspicious activity to local authorities. ♪ thousands of men and women across the country have made it their life's work to help care for sick children and it's not just doctors, nurses also play a critical part in helping kids heal. not just physically but emotionally as well. and for one nurse at texas children's hospital in houston, it's a job she's dreamed of since she was a child. ♪ >> hi i'm rochelle hey at texas children's hospital in the icu the heart specific unit. it's one of our newer units. um, and it's very specialized for heart failure patients. >> what's our game plan today?
just to keep watching her. >> i've been here for little bit over two years i started here right out of school. went to school ut go long horns. and i've been here here ever since this is my home. love to get to take care of these kids and to learn so much about the heart and just be with these families through hard times. ♪ >> one thing you'll never find here at texas children's in the icu someone saying i'm board. >> i start morning rounds and it's with the heart failure team, icu team and also have other teams involved like infectious disease or rumor ma tolling. this is alyssa. she is 13 years old, and she has extensive large medium and small vessel involvement and severely depressed lb funk.
she came back to the icu from the 15th floor on octobe october 3rd with increased breathing, taxi cardia, hypotension. intensive care really means intensive care because -- >> good morning alyssa. >> it's non-stop. you're contestantly critically thinking. you're constantly assessing. everything is constant much it's not really a break but it's nice because you give it your all for the time that you're here. heart failure can be caused by multiple things, and this unit is specialized in heart failure patients. ♪ >> some of them have a long stay here with different devices that kind of keep them -- keep them going until they can get a heart transplant. otherothers are being worked upr heart transplant. they're just not ready to move on to the other unit potentially at home and they need a higher
level of care so they stay here with us. >> in third grade i told my mom i wanted to be baby nurse, and i just felt like i was made for nursing for kids especially and babies really i love babies, so i thought babies as well would be good, and then i felt like the cdic was the best of both worlds. kids teenagers who got to interact with me. and then i also have the baby side with the congenital heart defects. >> i always had a really strong interest in the heart and along with kids, so texas children's i grew up in houston texas children's has always been a place i dreamed of working, and i thought it might take me awhile to get here but thankfully right out of school i got here and i feel like i just want to stay here now. i don't know if i ever want to leave. after the break, one mother's mission to make sure her son doesn't feel alone. plus, dancing for those who
♪ in san francisco a dance this past october for the boys and girls who can't dance. young professionals from the dance marathon network put on the event with the proceeds going to ucfs bennie children' hospital in oakland it's just one of many fundraisers for children's miracle network hospitals across the country. but there are other ways to he help. it could be simple as sharing a post on social media.
just ask molly. she's a woman from minnesota who turned to facebook to find a pen pal for her eight-year-old son with dwarf i. maury glover reports on the overwhelming response. >> reporter: as you can see in these pictures, braxton, is a fun-loving eight-year-old who's heart is several times bigger than his size. but growing up with dwarf i in a small town like hibing can be an isolating experience. >> there's nobody his size. it's really unknown around here. not many people known about dwarfs report roar his mom molly who also grew up with dwarf i posted a message on gillette children's specialty health care's facebook page looking for another little boy who is the same age and has the same condition to become pen pals with her son. >> i heard a story along time about somebody finding with dwarf i how they became pals and got to meet. so i just -- i wanted to do it for while and just the other day
i felt like posting on gillette to see if i can find one. >> reporter: the response was overwhelming with more than 2,000 likes and 700 shares. resulting in seven potential pe inform pals from as far away as sweden, australia and nova scotia. >> we can't even describe how we feel about it. we feel so much love from the whole world. >> yeah. >> reporter: one of them is eight-year-old sudden new man similar situation in had small town in missouri. >> it's great to make friends, you know. and to know there's other people out there. >> reporter: bridget from gillette children's says braxton's story is an example of the power of social media. >> we're finding him a friend that he can confide in, he can share experiences. this person could end up altering his and tire life. it could be the person that's the best man standing next to him at his wedding, and that's incredible. >> reporter: and in the process, making the world feel a little bit smaller for one very special little boy. >> how many friends do you want? >> i think he wants as many as he can get. >> yeah.
>> reporter: maury glover, fox nine. the word continues right now at children's miracles network hospitals across the country health care pork wes are making miracles happen and helping kids grow up and live healthy, normal lives. for more information go to cmn hospitals.org. thanks for joining us for this special report. i'm julie hayner.
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