Giles Schanen and his family began a mystery to find a diagnosis when he started having bleeding and pain after eating. After visiting multiple doctors, his doctor at Greenville Children’s Hospital solved the mystery and diagnosed him with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). If not for the specific care for EoE at Children’s Hospital, Giles would have to travel to Denver to receive his treatment and yearly endoscopy.
Supporters of Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System’s have helped provide comforts to Giles Martin and his family during dozens of endoscopys. These items help children pass the time as they wait for an appointment or procedure which can ease anxieties and fears for the child.
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville first-year student Jensyn Cone shares her journey to medical school, including why she chose USC School of Medicine Greenville over schools in her home state of Michigan and why her scholarship was such a pivotal part of that decision.
One night can change everything. Wyatt Banks went to sleep as a happy, healthy 7-month-old who was meeting all his developmental milestones ahead of schedule. However, the next morning, he was unable to move and he was struggling to breath. There was no accident and no warning. He had suddenly become a rag doll. His arms and legs dangled from his little body. He could no longer bear weight on this legs. He couldn’t sit up on his own and could no longer hold his bottle. His parents, Jason and Abby Banks, were terrified and clueless to what was happening to their infant son.
Jason and Abby took Wyatt to his pediatrician who immediately sent Wyatt to the emergency room of their local hospital. Wyatt was admitted to the hospital where doctors struggled for three days to determine a cause for Wyatt’s condition. After running out of options at his local hospital, Wyatt was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System. That is where everything changed.
Following an MRI, Dr. Addie Hunnicutt diagnosed Wyatt with a one-in-a-million autoimmune disease called transverse myelitis. Wyatt’s immune system had attacked his spinal cord, creating inflammation that left him paralyzed from the neck down, and there was no guarantee that Wyatt would ever get better. Dr. Hunnicutt started Wyatt on a 5-day course of strong IV steroids to stop the autoimmune attack.
While in the PICU, Wyatt received his steroid treatments follow by and IVIG treatments to help restore movement. Wyatt grew stronger daily. His breathing improved greatly and arm and hand movement began to return. Wyatt was even able to begin physical and occupational therapy while he was still in the PICU which is essential in recovery from transverse myelitis. Wyatt spent two weeks in the PICU before being released to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.
Despite a good recovery, Wyatt is still a regular visitor to GHS Children’s Hospital and it’s doctors. Specialist in neurology, pulmonology, sleep medicine, and urology monitor Wyatt’s medical needs to keep him healthy and thriving. Today, he is a paraplegic and a full-time wheelchair user, but it doesn’t slow him down. He is an energetic four-year-old who loves popping wheelies and going fast. He also loves attending school and taking part in adaptive sports like wheelchair tennis and adaptive surfing. None of this would be possible without GHS Children’s Hospital. Wyatt would have been forced to watch life go by from a bed, totally dependent on others to care for him had it not been for GHS Children’s Hospital.
Sonya’s daughter Maddie has spent much of her childhood in Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System. Over the past three years Maddie has received hundreds of procedures and dozens of treatments to manage her rare diagnosis of gastroparesis, an incurable condition that does not allow her to accept nutrition normally in her stomach.
When Maddie was first admitted before her diagnosis, she received an emergency feeding tube. This was a scary process for Maddie and after the procedure, a Child Life Specialist took the time to sit down with Maddie, ask her how she was feeling and gave her the tools to express what she was feeling through art. Experiences like this aren’t possible without support from the community.
Months later, Maddie would need to undergo surgrery to receive a a port to accept nutrition. This life change was drastic for Maddie and her family and brought numerous physical and emotional changes for her and her familiy. The process to take care of a port was daunting for Maddie and her family, but medical staff stepped in with medical play dolls to help demonstrate how the port would function and how to take care of her port. These items and opportunities are not typical of hospitals, but can be just as important as the medical care children receive.
In the midst of the hospital stays, Maddie’s mom, Sonya, could not be more thankful for the support Children’s Hospital has provided her family. They have eased fears and anxieties and have made Maddie feel like a kid even when they have had to celebrate holidays and special ocassions in the hospital. From the toys and art supplies, to Medical Care bears and Beads of Courage, the list of blessings the family receives thanks to community support goes on and on.
These items provide Maddie with emotional support and strength and help her to just be a kid no matter her circumstances. She is an illustration of how one small gesture can make a large and lasting impact. Thank you for making these miracles possible.