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Patient Stories at Children's Mercy

Thousands of families trust Children’s Mercy with their child’s care each year. But it is the unique story of each and every patient that truly defines who we are.

Read about just a few of the many amazing kids who inspire us with their courage, persistence and spirit.

 

Featured Story:

Rumination disorder: Bobbi’s story

Seventeen-year-old Bobbi Horr was referred to Children’s Mercy when she was unable to swallow her food and began spitting it up constantly. The Gastroenterology team diagnosed her with rumination disorder, a rare syndrome often caused by stress. Thanks to behavioral modification, Bobbi has learned how to effectively manage her stress, and continue her active life as a junior at Holton High School.

Meet Bobbi
 Bobbi Horr smiling and holding blue and sliver pom-poms

Eosinophilic asthma: Hunter's story

In a matter of a few hours, Hunter Box went from being a healthy, active 17-year-old, to a severely ill teen struggling for his next breath. After two hospitalizations, he was diagnosed with eosinophilic asthma and a rare complication called plastic bronchitis. Now, thanks to the Children’s Mercy Advanced Asthma Interdisciplinary Respiratory (AAIR) Clinic, Hunter’s asthma is under control.

Meet Hunter's

Chromosome 15q duplication and deletion syndrome: Marcus' story

Shaun and Tasha Rye share what a difference the Children’s Mercy Beacon Program has made for their son, 2-year-old Marcus. Marcus has a medically complex condition caused by chromosome 15q duplication and deletion syndrome, a genetic defect, resulting in global developmental delays, congenital heart disease including atrioventricular septal defect with restrictive VSD, DORV and PDA, supraventricular tachycardia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, intestinal malrotation, asthma, dystonia, cleft palate, and bilateral club feet. Marcus also has bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, wears glasses, has a gastrostomy tube for medications, and takes continuous jejunostomy tube feedings.

Rett syndrome: Quinn's story

Six-year-old Quinn Cunningham has Rett syndrome, a progressively debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder. That's why her family relies on the Beacon Clinic to coordinate her complex care for respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological issues.

Meet Quinn
Children's Mercy patient Quinn receiving care in the Beacon Program and Clinic.

Spinal muscular atrophy: Daniel's story

Though Daniel Andersen was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 at just 2 years old, he’s been able to pursue his college dreams with help from The Children’s Mercy Beacon Program, which serves as a medical home for children with complex or systemic medical problems.

Meet Daniel
Children's Mercy patient Daniel receives care at the Beacon Program and Clinic.

Child Life: Making the hospital a positive experience

Hospitals can be scary places. That’s why the certified Child Life specialists at Children’s Mercy do whatever it takes to make kids feel empowered and comfortable during their stay. From hosting carnivals and patient proms, to using child-friendly models, pictures and real-life canine buddies (Hope and Hunter, the service dogs!), Child Life eases stress and anxiety for kiddos and their families.

Critical Care Transport: Knox's story

A rare rash and inconsolable crying triggered a St. Joseph, Mo., mom to take her infant to the pediatrician; and then to Children’s Mercy via ground ambulance. Immediate treatment for scalded skin syndrome meant a brief hospital stay for Knox, who is heathy today.

Meet Knox
Meet Knox, a Critical Care Transport patient at Children's Mercy

Critical Care Transport: Matthew's story

Following the birth of their son, Matthew, first-time parents Natalie and Phillip Meznar noticed something was seriously wrong. Suffering from breathing issues, the Neonatal Transport Team at Children's Mercy quickly transported Matthew to the hospital for care, where he was diagnosed with a rare condition called pulmonary arteriovenous malformation, or PAVM.

Meet Matthew
Meet Matthew, a Critical Care Transport patient at Children's Mercy.

Critical Care Transport: Paizlee's story

Six-year-old Paizlee received an injury to the head from a game of baseball that caused her brain to swell. Rushing against time, the Children’s Mercy Critical Care Transport team arrived to bring Paizlee to the hospital in time for the care she needed.

Meet Paizlee
Meet Paizlee, a Critical Care Transport patient at Children's Mercy.

Critical Care Transport: Parker's story

Born six and one-half years ago at only 23 weeks, 5 days of gestation, and weighing l pound, 12 ounces, Parker McElroy’s mother, Kylie, said he is alive today thanks to the Children’s Mercy Neonatal Transport team.

Meet Parker
Meet Parker, a Critical Care Transport patient at Children's Mercy.

Changing lives with Gender Pathway Services: Alex’s story

17-year-old Alex knew something was different from about the age of 3. But it wasn’t until mom reached out to Children’s Mercy did this struggling child get answers, help and a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, which would set Alex on the path to becoming a happy, healthy transgender male.

Type-1 diabetes: Mason's story

A thirsty 2-year-old isn’t likely to arouse concerns – especially during the brutal heat of a Midwestern summer. But Mason Brennan’s mother knew something was amiss when her son’s requests for water became excessive.

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia: Kyler's story

Samantha Moran’s water broke in the middle of the night just hours before she was scheduled to travel to the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center to give birth. That’s when the Fetal Transport Team sprang into action, safely bringing her and baby Kyler, who had been diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, to the hospital for care.

Meet Kyler

Fetal cardiology: Hazel's story

Doctors at Children’s Mercy diagnosed Hazel Moffett’s heart defect before she was born, and repaired it when she was only 8 days old. Today the 1-year-old is developing normally—laughing and playing.

Meet Hazel
A child receives care in the Fetal Cardiac Clinic at Children's Mercy.

Fetal cardiology: Levi's story

When a fetal echocardiogram reveals a critical heart defect—and the baby has to undergo life-saving cardiac surgery only eight days after birth—you don’t expect the mother to label the experience as “awesome.” But Traci Pierson actually describes her son Levi’s birth in even more glowing terms. “Despite the fact that my child had a serious birth defect,” Traci said, “I look back on his delivery as even better than my first son’s”—a remarkable statement considering that big brother Liam was born with no health concerns.

Meet Levi

Fetal cardiology: Baldwin family's story

Follow the Baldwin family's journey through the Fetal Cardiology Program at Children's Mercy when their son Hartman was prenatally diagnosed with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome.

Gastroschisis: Warren's story

Just 18 weeks into her pregnancy, Mariah Schumacher learned her baby boy had a defect in his abdominal wall that would require surgery to repair. Thanks to the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center at Children’s Mercy, Mariah was able to give birth in the same hospital where her baby’s surgery was performed.

Meet Warren

Inside Pediatrics: Evelyn's story

Fetal surgeons at Children’s Mercy push the possibilities with a dramatic spinal repair surgery performed on baby Evelyn before birth.

Jude's story

Ten weeks before their son, Jude, was born, Tracy and Chris Schinzel learned he had a large oral tumor attached to the roof of his mouth that made it almost impossible to breathe. The Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center at Children’s Mercy and a team of experts orchestrated a series of complex procedures that put a smile on Jude’s face.

Meet Jude

Schizencephaly: Ajla and Audie's story

Diagnosed at 23 weeks with a rare brain defect, schizencephaly, Ajla and Audie Leonard have received the advantage of specialized care from a wide range of Children’s Mercy’s health experts.

Spina bifida: Mary Kate's story

Having a child is nothing new for parents Jean and Brendan McPherson, who already have four children. But the diagnosis of their fifth child is something they could have never imagined they would experience. Little Mary Kate had open myelomeningocele—also known as spina bifida. With the direction of Dr. Vlastos and the fetal surgery team, the McPhersons made the decision to give Mary Kate surgery while still in the womb.

Meet Mary Kate
Mary Kate receives care in the Fetal Health Center at Children's Mercy

Spina bifida: Milo's story

The Murphys were excited to welcome their second baby – a baby boy - to their family. What they didn’t plan for was the unexpected news that he had a neural tube defect called open myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida. After the diagnosis they learned that he was not a candidate for fetal surgery but they worked with the Fetal Health Center team to create a care plan fit for Milo.

Meet Milo
Children's Mercy Spina Bifida patient Milo sitting with his dad

Spina bifida: Sarah and Hadley's story

At their 20-week ultrasound, Sarah and her husband, Jed, were excited to learn Sarah was carrying a baby girl. But their doctor also gave them some very serious news—their child had a neural tube defect called open myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida. Sarah's doctor shared that fetal surgery might be an option for Hadley. Sarah and Jed turned to Dr. Emanuel "Mike" Vlastos at Children's Mercy to create a care plan.

Meet Sarah and Hadley
Baby Hadley, diagnosed with spina bifida and treated at Children's Mercy

Genomic Medicine Center: Dalton's story

Diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening syndrome called Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome, or BVVL, Dalton is treated at Children’s Mercy by a team of specialists including Jean-Baptiste Le Pichon, MD, PhD, pediatric neurologist. Dr. Le Pichon prescribes vitamin B-12, a promising new treatment, and Dalton’s condition greatly improves.

Genomic Medicine Center: Finding answers for leukemia

Thanks to ground-breaking research at the Genomic Medicine Center at Children’s Mercy, new treatments provide hope to infants with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare cancer of the blood and bone marrow that has a very poor prognosis. Watch as baby Brisia joins just 49 other infants around in the world in an oncology trial that pairs special drugs along with her standard chemotherapy in hopes of improving her chances for a cure.

Delivering complex medical care via telemedicine: TJ’s story

Several complex medical conditions make visits to Children’s Mercy a challenge for TJ DeCow. Now, telemedicine visits are making it possible for TJ’s doctors to check in on him remotely, reducing his anxiety level, saving travel time to and from the hospital, and limiting time away from work for his mom.

Meet TJ
TJ having a telemedicine visit with Dr. John Rosen

Hypersensation of the gastrointestinal tract: Amarissa’s story

At 4 ½, Amarissa Hampton has struggled with painful constipation since birth. Finally, she was referred to the Gastrointestinal team at Children’s Mercy, and after a lengthy hospitalization, she’s doing better than ever. Now she’s enjoying her favorite foods, like ice cream and pizza, she has lots of energy, and she’s thriving for the first time in her young life.

Meet Amarissa
Little girl with a gold, red and white bow in her hair, and a tube running from her nose and taped to her face

Inside Pediatrics: Colson's story

Colson was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and with the help Dr. Julie Bass, Medical Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Children's Mercy, and his mother, he is now receiving family-centered care.

Inside Pediatrics : Jackson's story

At 11 months old, Jackson was the 100th patient to receive a liver transplant at Children’s Mercy. He was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a liver tumor, at 7 months and was referred to the Children’s Mercy Liver Tumor Program, where he received medical and surgical expertise from Hematology and Oncology and the Liver Care Center.

Inside Pediatrics: Zane's story

Severe gastrointestinal pain can be debilitating. See how the GI Pain Lab at Children’s Mercy combines medicine with biofeedback and other treatments to help kids like Zane live with less pain.

Liver transplant: Precious' story

At Children's Mercy, every child is precious. But in this story, you'll meet a young girl with chronic liver disease whose nickname really is "Precious." Watch as the physician who has taken care of her since the day she was born performs her intricate liver transplant.

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome: Toby's story

A rare genetic condition causes polyps to continually form in Toby Nguyen’s intestines. But thanks to the Children’s Mercy Polyposis Center and a unique test called double balloon enteroscopy, it’s under control.

Meet Toby

Rumination disorder: Bobbi’s story

Seventeen-year-old Bobbi Horr was referred to Children’s Mercy when she was unable to swallow her food and began spitting it up constantly. The Gastroenterology team diagnosed her with rumination disorder, a rare syndrome often caused by stress. Thanks to behavioral modification, Bobbi has learned how to effectively manage her stress, and continue her active life as a junior at Holton High School.

Meet Bobbi
 Bobbi Horr smiling and holding blue and sliver pom-poms

CHAMP: Winston's story

Winston Wahlgren has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or HLHS, a congenital heart defect that requires three heart surgeries to repair. His parents used the CHAMP App, an innovative PC tablet-based application created by Children’s Mercy researchers, to monitor his condition between surgeries.

Heart transplant: Hannah's story

Fifteen year old Hannah could pretend her heart wasn’t a problem during marching band practice by “fake playing” as she paraded around the field. But eventually, the cardiomyopathy that plagued her family forced her off the field and into a hospital bed. There, she could only wait for a donor heart to save her life. Hannah became the first heart-transplant patient at Children's Mercy.

Inside Pediatrics: Leah's story

Leah was born with half a heart, and despite several surgeries, it’s failing fast. Cardiac and critical care specialists work to keep her alive, hoping a new heart can be found in time.

Inside Pediatrics: Ziah's story

Baby Ziah depends upon a passionate team of pre-natal and cardiac specialists to help her survive through birth and the heart repairs needed during her first year of life.

Aplastic anemia: Nick's story

One day Little League pitcher, Nick, just wasn't himself on the field. After a visit with his pediatrician, Nick was referred to Children's Mercy where the cause was diagnosed — a condition that hinders the bone marrow from making enough blood cells. See how Nick found the right treatment and even threw out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game.

Meet Nick
Nick's Story: an aplastic anemia patient at Children's Mercy

Beta thalassemia major: Hadil's story

Hadil, a Syrian refugee, had battled a rare inherited blood disorder since birth called beta thalassemia major. Now thanks to a successful bone marrow transplant at Children’s Mercy, where survival rates are at or above national averages, she is meeting the challenges of life in her new home.

Meet Hadil
Hadil's Story: beta thalassemia major

Ewing sarcoma: Alex's story

Despite the life-threatening diagnosis of advanced Ewing sarcoma, Maruska and Jeff Goodwin, Leicester, United Kingdom, were determined to find answers for their 8-year-old son, Alex. At Children’s Mercy, they discovered the expertise Alex needed to not only beat cancer, but to grow stronger day by day.

Meet Alex
Children's Mercy patient Alex receives care in the Cancer Center.

Ewing sarcoma: Gavin's story

Gavin Beaver has been in the fight of his life since he was 9 years old, battling a rare type of cancer called Ewing sarcoma. With the team from Children’s Mercy in his corner, he has the strength and willpower to continue his fight, exceeding everyone’s expectations.

Meet Gavin
Gavin's Story of Ewing Sarcoma at Children's Mercy

Hemophilia: Mark and Ethan's story

The Children’s Mercy Hemophilia Care Team travels to Dodge City, Kan., to deliver care to patients living with this life-threatening disorder. Mark and his big brother, Ethan, both have hemophilia, and depend on the team for the treatments they need to better manage the disease.

Hodgkin lymphoma: Magnus' story

Meet Magnus, a 10-year-old battling Hodgkin lymphoma. This cancer journey is told from a perspective we don't get too often — his.

#MagnusStrong

Hodgkin lymphoma: Miqueas' story

Miqueas' mother grew concerned as a small bump on her son's neck began to grow. With limited English, she struggled to find the best care for Miqueas. After meeting with Dr. Flatt, Director of the Spanish-Speaking Cancer Clinic and cancer specialist at Children's Mercy, they found the answers and care they needed.

Meet Miqueas
Meet Miqueas Valdez Cisneros, a patient in the Cancer Center at Children's Mercy.

Hodgkin lymphoma: Pepito's story

Three-year-old Pepito has Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer rarely found in children his age. Alan Gamis, MD, a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Mercy, prescribes chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the softball-sized tumor in his neck, and stop the cancer in its tracks.

Inside Pediatrics: Peyton's story

A father returns from service overseas to join the Children’s Mercy oncology team in its life-saving battle to save his son, Peyton, from aggressive cancer.

Osteosarcoma: Kambre's story

Kambre Jo Konrade started kindergarten facing a life-threatening obstacle—a grapefruit-sized mass above her knee called an osteosarcoma. The experts at Children’s Mercy performed a procedure called a rotationplasty. Today, Kambre’s tumor is gone, and she has good function in her leg.

Meet Kambre
Children's Mercy patient Kambre receives care in the Cancer Center.

Refractory anemia with excess blasts: McKenzie's story

A winning athlete on the tennis court, McKenzie Haynes used that same spirit to meet the challenge of her young life—refractory anemia with excess blasts Type 1. Treatment at Children’s Mercy included blood transfusions, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Several months later, she was back on the court in top form.

Meet McKenzie
Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts: McKenzie's Story

Rhabdomyosarcoma: Suela's story

At just 15 years old, Persephone Consuela (Suela) Duran was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. Luckily, the Salina, Kan., teen lived less than 200 miles from one of the premier hospitals in the nation known for treating this deadly disease, and sought help at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

Meet Suela
Children's Mercy patient Suela receives care in the Cancer Center.

SCID: Connor's story

Connor's family chose Children's Mercy over many other options to care for Connor when he was born with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Learn about his experience.

Sickle cell disease: Elijah's story

Elijah was born with Sickle Cell Disease. Meet Elijah and learn about his care team at Children's Mercy.

Triosephosphate isomerase deficiency: Wyatt's story

Four-year-old Wyatt was diagnosed with a rare genetic multisystem disorder called TPI shortly after he was born. A bone marrow transplant at Children’s Mercy, was his best chance for survival.

Meet Wyatt
Triosephosphate Isomerase Deficiency: Wyatt's Story

Home Care: Lucas' story

Even though he is just four years old, Lucas Whitacre has overcome many challenges already, including feeding and nutrition issues, a brain tumor and a stroke. Children’s Mercy Home Care helps medically complex kids like Lucas and his mom Shannon get the care they need without the burden of extra trips to the hospital.

Meet Lucas
Children's Mercy Home Care patient

Time saves lives: Emersyn’s story

When every minute counts, a great partnership matters.

Baby Emersyn’s temperature spikes on a routine Saturday morning, prompting her community pediatrician to refer her straight to the Emergency Department at Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas. Using cutting-edge technology, the Infectious Diseases team rapidly diagnoses Emersyn with E. coli meningitis, which if not caught early, can have a devastating outcome.

Inside Pediatrics: Jack's story

Two-year-old Jack needs daily dialysis, care from the region’s top pediatric nephrologists and a kidney transplant to survive. While some kids wait months for a kidney, Jack already has a donor: his dad.

Kidney transplant: Isaac's and Colin's stories

Isaac Schroeder, a 2 ½-year-old patient from Omaha, Neb., and his mother celebrate the one-year anniversary of Isaac’s lifesaving kidney transplant at Children’s Mercy. Meanwhile 18-year-old Colin Martin recovers from a kidney transplant made possible by his brother, William. This was the first brother-to-brother transplant performed at Children’s Mercy, and both young men are doing well.

Kidney transplant: Julio's story

At the age of six, Julio, was living with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The disorder does not respond well to medications and Julio received a kidney transplant and care after from Children's Mercy. Thanks to the care Julio has received, he can enjoy his favorite hobbies like going to the park, riding his bike and playing soccer.

LOVE WILL: Brylynn's story

Brylynn needed a new kidney and liver. Surgeons transplanted both, giving her more moments with mom.

Cerebral palsy: Hailey's story

Born premature and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Hailey Bertoncino’s physical challenges have made walking, and especially running, difficult. But with the help of the Children’s Mercy Comprehensive Movement Disorders and Spasticity Clinic, a special surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy, and extensive rehabilitation, her goal is to play T-ball this summer.

Meet Hailey
Cerebral Palsy patient Hailey receives care at Children's Mercy.

Drug-resistant seizures: Derek’s story

Thirteen-year-old Derek Ahlstedt began having seizures when he was only 18 months old, and has struggled with them ever since. Thanks to new technology called ROSA® Brain, a Children’s Mercy neurosurgeon was able to pinpoint the source of his seizures, and remove the dysfunctioning portion of his brain. He’s now seizure-free and looking forward to the possibility of driving one day.

Meet Derek
Epilepsy patient, Derek, having his heart check by a physician

Pediatric epilepsy: Gary's story

Christian Kaufman, MD, Children’s Mercy pediatric neurosurgeon, performs an intricate surgery to remove abnormal brain tissue, which should help stop severe epileptic seizures for Gary. Months later, Gary is seizure-free, and is slowly being taken off his anti-seizure medications.

Ketogenic diet for pediatric epilepsy: Reed's story

Despite being diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Glut1 that causes seizures, Reed Williams is active and healthy. His family credits the Children’s Mercy Ketogenic Diet Program with making that possible.

Meet Reed
Reed cooking in the Keto Diet Program at Children's Mercy.

Ketogenic diet for pediatric epilepsy: Santi's story

When Bertha Guillen's son, Santi, struggled with seizures, she was told he may never walk or talk. But with the help of an innovative diet plan, his epilepsy has been controlled, even without the use of medication. Watch Santi's story to see how a mother got her son back.

Ketogenic diet for pediatric epilepsy: Vito's story

Diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder Glut1 as an infant, Vito Costanza had constant seizures until beginning the ketogenic diet at Children’s Mercy. Thankfully, the diet has been a lifesaver for Vito.

Meet Vito
Vito eats the ketogenic diet at Children's Mercy.

Pediatric stroke: Ben's story

The Children’s Mercy Comprehensive Stroke Clinic stabilized newborn Ben McKinnon using blood thinners after he had a life-threatening perinatal stroke. Today, the toddler is walking and running, thanks to early intervention.

Meet Ben
Ben's story about receiving care in the Comprehensive Stroke Clinic at Children's Mercy.

Perinatal stroke: Sadie's story

Before she was born, Sadie Ewy suffered a perinatal stroke. That’s why her family turned to the Children’s Mercy Comprehensive Stroke Clinic. Now 2, she’s doing so well she’s “high-fiving” her doctors.

Meet Sadie

Pediatric stroke: Talan's story

A 2 ½ years old Talan Turner suffered a devastating stroke. After months of physical, occupational and speech therapy at Children’s Mercy, Talan is walking, running and chasing the family dog.

Meet Talan

Severe spasticity and dystonia: Josie's story

At three-years-old, a rare condition damaged Josie’s brain, impacting her ability to speak and leaving her with a severe movement disorder. The Children’s Mercy Comprehensive Movement Disorders and Spasticity Clinic recommended an intrathecal baclofen pump be implanted, and now Josie is on the road to recovery.

Meet Josie
Severe spasticity and dystonia patient, Josie, pushing her hand against adult's hand

Corneal cross linking: Noah's story

Noah DeFerraris has a rare eye condition called keratoconus. His vision was failing, then he found Erin Stahl, MD, Children’s Mercy ophthalmologist. Dr. Stahl recommended a procedure recently approved by the FDA called corneal cross linking, and now Noah is seeing 20/20!

Meet Noah
Corneal Cross Linking: Noah's Story

Interventional radiology eye repair: Connor’s story

Three-year-old Connor cries when he looks in the mirror. That’s because he has a vascular malformation that causes his left eyeball to severely bulge out. Watch as Connor’s doctor uses minimally invasive, image-guided needles around Connor’s eye to deliver medicine and suck the blood away from his eye, all without open surgery.

Bone lengthening: Aveon's story

After six surgeries to correct a condition she was born with, Aveon undergoes surgery at Children's Mercy to lengthen her bone. She will receive a new magnetic implant through a new technique. Dr. Olney has cared for Aveon for more than 10 years.

Broken knuckle: Ashton's story

When 15-year-old Ashton Meuret broke the middle knuckle on the ring finger of her left hand, she turned to Christine Cheng, MD, pediatric hand surgeon, for help. After surgery and rehabilitation, this highly competitive gymnast is back in action again.

Meet Ashton
Broken knuckle patient, Ashton, smiling with her arms up at a gymnastics tournament

Early onset scoliosis: Quinn's story

Why is Quinn Liberman smiling? The 7-year-old is finished with serial Mehta casting and moving to the next phase of treatment at Children’s Mercy for her scoliosis—Rigo Cheneau bracing. To celebrate, she took time for a unique photo shoot documenting her journey.

Meet Quinn
Quinn Liberman smiling with grassy field behind her

Inside Pediatrics: Anthony's Story

Anthony was born with an upper spine deformity; a 4-hour surgery replaced his deformed upper vertebrae with metal plates and rods. During surgery, Dr. Richard Swend used telemedicine to share knowledge with colleagues observering the procedure in the Ukraine.

Inside Pediatrics: Ellie's Story

Teenaged Ellie had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. After a 5-hour surgery to correct her spinal curvature, she is 2 inches taller and is taking a dance class. 

Inside Pediatrics: Kaysen's Story

Five-month-old Kaysen's shoulder nerves were damaged, so he couldn't bend or lift his right arm. A 6-hour surgery at Children's Mercy helped to rebuild his nerve pathways. Now, with the help of his parents and occupational therapy, Kaysen is learning to build strength and control in his arm.

Inside Pediatrics: Martin's story

Go inside the operating room to see surgeons give young Martin the gift of greater movement.

Cleft lip and palate: Joaquin's story

Shao Jiang, MD, pediatric plastic surgeon, repairs Joaquin’s previous cleft lip and palate surgery, which was performed in another country. Dr. Jing’s goal is to reduce scaring and improve function for Joaquin.

Inside Pediatrics: Hallie's story

Newborn Hallie can’t breathe well because her jaw is malformed. Learn how innovative 3D printing technology reduces her time in the operating room.

Pierre Robin sequence: Kaleb's story

Kaleb Ebrecht has Pierre Robin sequence, a genetic condition that causes a small jaw and breathing problems. But thanks to surgery to lengthen his jaw at Children’s Mercy, Kaleb is breathing easy.

Meet Kaleb
A child receives care in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery unit at Children's Mercy.

Treacher Collins syndrome: Makayla's story

Maykayla Hainline has Treacher Collins, a rare syndrome that affects development of her ears, eyes, cheekbones and chin. The Children’s Mercy JAWS Clinic ensures she sees all her specialists at one appointment.

Meet Makayla
A patient receives care in the JAWS Clinic at Children's Mercy.

Cystic fibrosis: Amber’s story

At 35, Amber Dawkins has been fighting a formidable foe her entire life—cystic fibrosis. As a child, the Children’s Mercy CF Care Center helped keep her healthy. Now 35 years old, Amber is determined nothing will stop her from living her life to the fullest, not even CF. Read how she’s beating the odds, competing on one of the world’s biggest stages in the athletic competition, "American Ninja Warrior"!

Meet Amber
Amber Dawkins smiling and holding balls hanging from chains from the ceiling

Cystic fibrosis and research: Myah’s story

Meet Myah, a teen who loves playing soccer and also happens to have cystic fibrosis. Recent clinical trials have helped Myah keep up with her teammates and improve her quality of life through access to new medication and treatment options.

Inside Pediatrics: Zei's story

After a mysterious illness ravages Zei’s lungs and leaves her fighting for life, the critical care team re-invents its life support protocols to push the limits of medicine to give her a chance.

RAPS: Makayla's story

Makayla comes to Children’s Mercy in a wheelchair with debilitating pain from an injury a year earlier—she can’t even walk. But the Rehabilitation for Amplified Pain Syndromes (RAPS) program, a multidisciplinary service that treats children with severe pain and disability, goes to work, helping Makayla return to her normal activities.

International Services: Tobias' story

Tobias was born in China. He was born with spina bifida and when he was five months old a small hole in heart was closed with surgery. The International Services team at Children's Mercy helped Tobias' mom plan for his care in Kansas City with all of his specialists in one place.

Kit's story

In 2017, Kit turned 5 years old, and she celebrated her first chemo-free summer in more than two years. Since age 3, she has endured more than 20 spinal taps, multiple blood transfusions, surgeries and dozens of hospital admissions. She spent 859 days undergoing chemotherapy. Kit doesn’t remember life without chemo. 

Thankfully, scientific investigation and personalized medicine helped save Kit’s life. But what if she and her family didn’t have to lose that time while she struggled through heart-wrenching pain? What if childhood diseases like the acute lymphoblastic leukemia that invaded Kit’s tiny body were eliminated and children didn’t have to suffer at all? What if her family never had to say, “She’s still not out of the woods” and wonder and worry every single day? 

Kit, celebrating her last day of chemo at Children's Mercy

ACL injury and recovery: Michael's story

When Michael Shultz experienced a season-ending knee injury while wrestling, he turned to the experts at the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine. After surgery to repair his ACL and extensive rehab, he’s back in action for his senior year, suiting up as No. 30 and playing middle linebacker and tight end for the Sabres.

Meet Michael
Michael Shultz on treadmill while physical therapist watches in background

ACL tear and rehab: Mary’s story

When 15-year-old Mary suffers a knee injury that threatens her tennis career, her parents turn to Children’s Mercy for expert orthopaedic surgical repair. See how customized care and world-class rehab facilities used by professional athletes enable Mary to get back on the court in time for her state high school tournament.

ACL tears in both knees: Megan's story

By the time she was just 18 years old, Megan Johnson had torn the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) in both knees. With the help of Children’ Mercy Sports Medicine at Village West, the college softball player is ready to return to the field when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Meet Megan
Physical therapy patient, Megan, smiling while holding a softball bat in both of her hands

Broken kneecap and tibia: Antonio’s story

A broken kneecap and tibia literally disabled Antonio Briscoe, making every movement a struggle. But thanks to Antonio’s determination and months and months of therapy with Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine, he’s back on the basketball court.

Meet Antonio
Antonio smiling (broken kneecap and tibia patient)

Broken right leg: Maddux’s story

In October 2019, Maddux Radosevic broke his right leg in three places, ending his freshman football season prematurely. Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center helped the three-sport athlete get back in shape just in time for the Rockhurst Hawklets’ baseball tryouts this spring. Though Maddux made the cut, the season is now on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet Maddux
Maddux exercising in a pool. Sign in pool reads "6 FT."

Broken tibial eminence: Sophie’s story

A member of Rock Chalk Dance, the high-energy dance team at the University of Kansas, Sophie Lawrence loves being able to express herself through dance. But a snow skiing accident Jan. 1, 2020, led to surgery and months of physical therapy. Now, thanks to her commitment and Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine at Village West, she’s fully recovered and back on the team.

Meet Sophie
Sophie Lawrence cheering at a KU game with pom-poms in her hands

Bulging disc injury and recovery: Logan's story

Logan Buffo, a three-sport athlete at Lansing High School, worked out with some serious weight as a member of his powerlifting team until multiple bulging discs slowed him down and led to chronic pain. Under the guidance of Shannon Margherio, PT, OCS, Logan began his physical therapy at the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Mercy where he learned proper form in the weight room and how to avoid injury in the future.

Meet Logan
Bulging disc injury patient, Logan, in weight room

LCL tear: Emily's story

When Emily suffered a serious LCL tear playing soccer, it resulted in more than a physical injury to her knee. It turned her world upside down. Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine is helping her recover physically, as well as mentally.

Meet Emily

Torn ACL and meniscus: Berlin’s story

When Berlin Butler-Swanger tore her ACL playing soccer, she heard the classic “pop,” then fell to the ground in pain. But she fought back. After surgery and months and months of working with Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine, she’s confident in her knee and ready to return to the field.

Meet Berlin
Teenage girl, Berlin, in gym environment

Torn ACL: Hartwell's story

During his quest to wrestle at the 2019 Kansas state championships, Hartwell Taylor tore his ACL. At Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Village West, Hartwell not only did traditional therapy-based exercises, but his therapist prescribed blood flow restriction training, or BFR, helping him regain full use of his left leg and a shot at the 2020 state championship.

Meet Hartwell
Hartwell in wrestling head gear

Torn ACL: Jameel’s story

A talented football player, Jameel Burns seemed destined to play football in college, then an injury to his ACL during a track meet sidelined him. Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center not only helped the starter play football his senior year, his doctor reconstructed his knee, and his therapist helped him rehabilitate it. Now he’s ready to put his knee to the test at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Meet Jameel

Torn ACL: Maxxwell's story

A spot on the varsity football team is a dream for most freshman, but for Maxxwell Ford, it was a reality … until he tore his ACL. That’s when he turned to Children’s Mercy for help. Surgery reconstructed his torn ACL, and physical therapy at the state-of-the-art Children’s Mercy Village West Sports Medicine Center helped him get back in the game.

Meet Maxxwell

Torn ACL: Nahomi's story

A cut, a turn, a cleat digging into the turf and a twist in the wrong direction. That’s all it took for Nahomi Sanchez to tear her left ACL. But with expert guidance from Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine, she’s been able to rehabilitate her knee without surgery just in time for the spring soccer season.

Meet Nahomi
Torn ACL patient, Nahomi, in gym

Torn left ACL: Saneea’s story

A talented 16-year-old point guard for the Blue Springs South Jaguars, Saneea Bevley tore her left ACL playing in an AAU game in April 2019. After surgery and months of rehabilitation with the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center, she finished her high school season strong, determined to play better than ever.

Meet Saneea
Saneea Bevley twirling a basketball on one of her fingers

Pectus carinatum: Weston's story

At 15, Weston Marshall was diagnosed with a protruding sternum, called pectus carinatum. The Center for Pectus Excavatum and Pectus Carinatum at Children’s Mercy used a special brace to correct the condition.

Meet Weston
Children's Mercy patient Weston receives care at the Center for Pectus Excavatum and Carinatum.

Pectus carinatum: Zane's story

A “bump” in the center of Zane Johnson’s chest called pectus carinatum brought him to the Center for Pectus Excavatum and Pectus Carinatum at Children’s Mercy. A special brace is correcting the condition.

Meet Zane
Children's Mercy patient Zane receives care at the Center for Pectus Excavatum and Carinatum.

Pectus excavatum: Sophie's story

When Sophie Penland needed surgery to correct pectus excavatum, a chest wall deformity, her mom brought her to the experts at Children’s Mercy. Now the teenager is dancing to her heart’s content.

Meet Sophie
Children's Mercy patient Sophie receives care at the Center for Pectus Excavatum and Carinatum.

Inside Pediatrics: Jacob's story

Revolutionary cryoablation procedures pioneered at Children’s Mercy allow Jacob to recover with almost no discomfort from a chest repair that used to cause months of pain.