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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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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: The Baldwin'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 requiring surgery to repair. Thanks to the Elizbeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center at Children’s Mercy, Mariah was able to give birth in the same hospital where her infant’s surgery was performed.

Meet Warren

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 Bidifa: 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 Murphy’s 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

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

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.

Genomic Medicine: 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 Research: 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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Children's Mercy Home Care patient

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

Sports Physical Therapy: Gracie's Story

When Gracie Daniel began experiencing back pain, she tried to grin and bear it. After over-the-counter pain medications didn’t help, she was referred to the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center where she worked with a physical therapist and dance medicine specialist. A few months later, Gracie danced her way across the stage in the lead role of Snow White.

Inside Pediatrics: Martin's Story

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

The spirit of a fighter

Callyn was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer, when she was just 2 years old. From that point, her family’s goal was simple: save her life, save her eye and salvage as much vision as possible. Thankfully, in March 2014, Callyn was declared disease free. Now, her family is helping other families still fighting this disease by donating shirts that read, “You can never break the spirit of a fighter.” And they should know. Callyn’s fighting spirit is contagious.

Read Callyn's Story

Making a difference in her own way

As a former Children’s Mercy patient, Catherine is grateful for the outstanding medical care she received to treat challenges related to her cerebral palsy. But she also knows the importance of a smile when patients and families arrive for a visit or treatment. That’s why she volunteers at the Kreamer Resource Center. “We all can make a difference in our own way,” Catherine said. “I try to make the day a little brighter for our families.”

Read Catherine's Story

Visualizing the Future

David Westbrook understands the need for innovation in pediatric ophthalmology. As a teenager, he became blind from a rare condition – juvenile glaucoma. The best surgeries at the time couldn’t save his vision. Today David is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Children’s Mercy and is helping push forward innovations that make it possible for kids with his condition to see. In gratitude to those who support the hospital’s ophthalmology program, David donated $1 million to Children’s Mercy. The Ophthalmology Clinic bears his name.

Read David's Story

Ellie's Family Gives Back

Small acts of kindness and compassion by staff and volunteers at Children’s Mercy make a world of difference to parents and patients alike. Just ask Jennifer. While waiting for her daughter, Ellie, to wake up from her final MRI before surgery to remove a cystic lesion, Jennifer was anxious and in tears. A clown who was entertaining some children on the same floor took notice, handed Jennifer a wooden rose and invited her into the hall where she reached up, gave Jennifer a warm, loving embrace and shared words of encouragement: “Everything will be ok, you’ll see,” the volunteer said. And it was. Ellie wouldn’t need surgery after all.

Read Ellie's Story

Hattie's Hope

When little Hattie was in the NICU, her mom Ambria found comfort in little things that made life seem normal. She dressed Hattie in cute bows and matching blankets. Everyone would stop by to see what her little fashionista was wearing. When Hattie passed away at just 10 weeks old, Ambria started an organization that donates handmade hair bows and receiving blankets to babies in the NICU to provide their parents with the same comfort and simple joy.

Read Hattie's Story

Honoring the "Care" in Caregiver

The proud adoptive parents of four beautiful children who all received care at Children’s Mercy, Hillary and John know the critical role each and every team member plays in a family’s experience – and they are grateful. “At every turn, our family was greeted with friendliness, treated with respect,” mom Hillary said, “and our children are cared for with patience and joy.” That gratitude toward the staff inspired the Pattons to make a special gift in their honor.

Read the Patton's Story

The power of giving back

Amy and Pat are two of the hundreds of volunteers who donate their time to Children’s Mercy every year. Amy has been involved in the Pet Pal program for 13 years, bringing her therapy dogs to visit with patients. Over the years she has seen the incredible, and often surprising, impact these dogs have on patients. Pat was a nurse at Children’s Mercy for 27 years. Now, she rocks babies in the NICU one morning a week and considers it a privilege, especially knowing the parents are grateful their babies are being cared for when they can’t be there themselves.

Read Amy and Pat's Stories

Zibbie's Birthday Surprise

In 2015, Elizabeth Ferrell, better known as “Zibbie,” celebrated her birthday at Children’s Mercy. It was a surprise party, and many of the kids in attendance were born in the Fetal Health Center that bears Zibbie’s name. Zibbie’s husband, Jim, had a birthday surprise of his own – a $2 million gift in Zibbie’s honor to fund an endowed chair in maternal fetal medicine at Children’s Mercy! The new chair will help even more babies born with severe anomalies have the chance to achieve greatness.

Read Zibbie's Story

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.

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.

Cystic Fibrosis Research: Myah’s Story

"Clinical research in Cystic Fibrosis has dramatically improved both the quantity of life as well as the quality of life.”

From the outside, Myah looks like an ordinary teen who loves playing soccer. But Myah has Cystic Fibrosis and that makes running around and keeping up with her teammates difficult. Learn why Myah and her family decided to get her involved in research at Children’s Mercy and why Cystic Fibrosis research is so important to her and her providers.

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 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.

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.