Following an emergency C-section, Gabriela’s mother, Katherine, was shocked to see that her new baby was missing part of her face. Gabriela was born with a cleft lip and palate. Katherine researched for hours to find the best doctors to fix her daughter’s condition and came upon the craniofacial team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She knew Nicklaus Children’s was the right place for her baby daughter and entrusted her in the care of S. Anthony Wolfe, MD, Mislen Bauer, MD, and Marta Mejia, MD. Gabriela had two surgeries at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital by the time she was 18 months old, and after her second surgery, her mother said it was like the doctors handed her a whole “new baby.” Now a typical 8 year old who loves painting and playing with her friends, Gabriela scars are hardly noticeable, but the lessons she has taught her family will last a lifetime.
When Mateo was just two years old, his parents were shocked to discover that their toddler developed leukemia. They met with the hematology and oncology specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and began a treatment protocol that brought Mateo back to health—along with some entertainment from his spirited little sister! Mateo, now 10, is a healthy, typical kid who loves running around with his friends.
What began as a routine checkup during her 36th week of pregnancy, turned out to be a surprisingly daunting diagnosis for Sylvia, and her unborn baby, Luis Fernando, nicknamed Luife. While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect, where the large vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs and to the body, were improperly connected. His heart, as described by Redmond Burke M.D., Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, was like a “jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces put together backwards.”
Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” (which his mom says he earned because he's a warrior!) with pride. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as playing soccer, tennis, and running.
The moment Justin was born, his mother and father were faced with the most daunting and challenging experience any parent can imagine. Just hours after birth, Justin was airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for more specialized pediatric care. Having been diagnosed with pulmonary atresia and tetralogy of Fallot, he required immediate attention before it was too late.
Fast forward 13 years later, and Justin is still receiving the same quality care from the exact same team who received him in the NICU the day he was born. From reconstructive surgery to multiple catheterizations and constant follow-ups, Dr. Redmond Burke, pediatric cardiac surgeon, Dr. Danielle Madril, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, and his core team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital have been there every step of the way.
After finishing her race at a track meet, Sarah, 14, had a seizure. She was rushed to the ER in her hometown of Naples, and then airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. Doctors there discovered she had a large mass on her brain and would need surgery. Sarah’s surgery was successful and just months later she was able to return to school and outrun her track competitors.