Families share inspirational stories

Everyone loves an inspirational story. And at Cincinnati Children’s, we have plenty of them. This week, we are sharing mini-profiles of former patients who returned to say, “Look at me now!”

The Curtis Family

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Harrison Curtis was born on March 6, 2008. A routine ultrasound had warned that he had a heart condition. On March 9, Harrison underwent a nine-hour surgery to repair his heart. He spent a month at Cincinnati Children’s recovering. His two older brothers were not allowed in the hospital room during his recovery, so the hospital’s Child Life specialists arranged for them to meet their new brother via webcam.
“Today, Harrison is doing great and is under the continued care of the kind people at the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s,” says his mom, Allisha.

The Osterfelds
Maryn Osterfeld was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 9 months old and needed surgery. Just when she should have been learning to crawl or walk, she had to spend months in a spica cast, then a hip brace. Now 2 years old, those days are a distant memory. She wears a brace only when she sleeps. “She can crawl, walk, run and just learned to jump,” says her mom, Mara.

 

 

The Stouts
Peyton Stout was born two months early with such severe complications that doctors told his parents he would not survive. After three months of specialized care at Cincinnati Children’s, Peyton beat the odds. He has been diagnosed with a mild case of cerebral palsy, but he is a thriving 5-year-old. “He walks with assistance and talks non-stop,” says his mom, Katie. “Thank you to all of the wonderful doctors, nurses and therapists at Cincinnati Children’s.”

The Haarmeyers
Austin Haarmeyer had brain surgery in August 2010 to remove a brainstem cavernoma. Doctors discovered it after Austin suddenly lost the use of his right side at 13 months old. His “before” picture was from the day after surgery, when they removed the bandage that they called his “racing hat.” He’s now 3 years old and loves to run and climb. “The surgery was very risky,” says his mom, Paula. “But I am happy to report that Austin is doing great.”

 

The Dannemans
When Holly Danneman was pregnant with her second set of twins, a routine ultrasound revealed complications. One twin, Jake, had developed a near-fatal condition. At 29 weeks, he required immediate surgery to save his life. Twin Jenna was along for the ride. Holly, an emergency medicine physician, says no amount of medical training could have prepared her and her husband, Jim, for the family’s medical journey. Nine years later, Jake is an athlete. Jenna is a scholar and a dancer. They’re the middle children in a pack of six kids. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of how blessed we are,” their mother says.

Check back tomorrow for even more stories of hope.

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Tanya Leach

About the Author: Tanya Leach

Tanya Bricking Leach is a writer and video producer at Cincinnati Children's and a former newspaper reporter who has covered crime for The Cincinnati Enquirer, sports for USA Today, island life for The Honolulu Advertiser, food for The Associated Press and stories about storms and surfers for the New York Times. Tanya is the author of the military-themed travel guide "Hawaii for Heroes." She is married to a military veteran and is the mother of two young boys. When she's not wired in at work, she enjoys unplugging with her family on their sailboat.

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