Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a ride the last three years have been! Sam went from an active 12 year boy with hopes of playing football and running track to being on crutches with his left foot at a 90 degree angle in a matter of 6 weeks. He spent 10 long months on crutches while we were taking him from doctor to doctor trying to get the right diagnosis and then the right treatment. We finally met and were embraced by Dr. Acosta, Dr. Marks, Dr. Honeycutt and their staff at Cook Children's Medical Center. For the first time, we felt safe and that we could beat this "thing" that had taken Sam's spirit for life. By May, 2008 he was having Deep Brain Stimulation surgery and with a great deal of prayer, physical therapy and miracles he went back to school in August walking without any assistance! Today if you saw him on the street you may think he had a slight limp, but nothing significant. He is back to being a pretty normal active teenager- hiking, sledding, swimming and most recently horseback riding. Words can never express how grateful we are to Cook Children's for everything they did to give us our son back.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sam's Story

Age 15
Hereditary Dystonia

Cook Children’s Medical Center

“Something is telling my brain that when my foot is normal, it’s causing me pain. The dystonia takes my foot and contorts it. All it really does is cause me more pain, but the brain doesn’t register it.” Those are the words of Sam, 15, intelligently describing hereditary dystonia. Sam’s simple explanation is about a very complex problem that has made the last few years of his life anything but simple.

In March 2007, Sam started having trouble walking. His condition worsened but no one could provide an accurate diagnoses of the problem. Finally Sam was accurately diagnosed with hereditary dystonia. Suggested treatments just led to more excruciating pain. Eventually, Sam’s family found the key to unlocking his pain: the medical team at Cook Children’s Medical Center. It was there that they were introduced to pediatric deep brain stimulation. This procedure uses electrical signals to change the messages from the brain and Cook Children’s was leading the way in this cutting-edge treatment.

Sam was fully conscious during a six-hour brain surgery that finally gave him his life back. The surgery proved overwhelming successful and Sam returned to all the things he loves: reading, scouts and sailing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

About Walmart and Sam’s Club

Wal-Mart has supported Children’s Miracle Network since 1987. Since then, Children’s Miracle Network and Wal-Mart have worked tirelessly together to help children by raising money for children’s hospitals. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised more than $500 million for children’s hospitals during the 23 year relationship. This is the second year Walmart and Sam’s Club have sponsored the Champions program.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club

Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club is a Children's Miracle Network program that brings attention to the important work being done at children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children who have faced severe medical challenges.

The Champions program designates a champion child in every state who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The champions represent the nearly 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals every year. The 2010 champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, heart transplants and traumas, as well as life-threatening staph infections.

As part of Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club, the champions travel for a week in June to Washington, D.C., where champions traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. The family then travels to Orlando, Fla., for a second week in November. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network sponsor, hospital and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.