Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Have you had a chance to take a look at our special report on the top children’s hospitals in the country? I loved reading about the new advancements these hospitals are developing, and the lives they’re saving. And I know how amazing a children’s hospital can be. Because if it weren’t for the doctors and nurses at Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, I wouldn’t be here today.
I was exactly eight and a half when I came down with what seemed to be a wicked stomach virus just before Halloween. But within 48 hours, it was clear it was something more—I could no longer walk due to the pain in my abdomen. I was admitted to Buffalo’s Children’s Hospital, and that’s the last clear memory I have for the next several weeks.
A rare staph infection had liquidized most of my large intestine, and much of the rest of my body shut down in response to the disease. I was in shock and hallucinating, and my body was hooked to a large mass of wires and a slew of machines. Friends who worked at the hospital told my aunts and uncles to be ready to help my parents through the loss of their child.
But thanks to the tireless efforts of the doctors and nurses, led by the head of intensive care, Dr. Luis Mosovich, I survived. After 100 chest x-rays, dozens of IVs, numerous dialysis treatments, a brief furlough for Christmas and a few Happy Meals the nurses sneaked in for me when I was in need of fattening up, my mom was finally able to spring me on January 11—nearly three months after I’d been admitted to the hospital.
While I still can remember a treatment or ten (the spinal tap was a particularly painful one), my most vivid memories of my time at Children’s are of the love and care of my own family, and of my new family: The nurses who came up with silly games to while away the long hours, or brought in small gifts and books for me to read. The doctor who told my mother to simply forget about a several thousand dollar bill his office sent, as his services were on the house. The little boy with cystic fibrosis who used to play board games with me. And Dr. Mosovich, an incredibly kind and brilliant man, who even years later was so worried about me that he didn’t want me riding my bike in the street.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here to tell my tale if we didn’t have a children’s hospital in our area, with all its amazing resources dedicated to helping children survive the most devastating illnesses and injuries. And even if Buffalo’s Children’s Hospital didn’t make Parents‘ top 10, I know it’s still a place where miracles happen.
I’m now the mom of a beautiful eight-and-a-half-year-old, and I can’t fathom how my parents found the strength to make it through those months. While I’m hoping we’ll never have to use it, I’m happy to know that one of the top children’s hospitals is just a couple of hours away—just in case we’re ever in need of a miracle.
Image: Niki Crucillo / Shutterstock.com