June 12, 2018

Chief of Plastic Surgery Dr. Edward Buchanan recently read “The Tale of Fenny Fox: The Mental Ninja Emerges” to patients in the library at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Medical Center. Buchanan and his brother Matthew Buchanan published the children’s book as the third installment in a series called the Mental Ninja Series.

The first two books of the series, “The Adventures of the Prickly Pear and the Happy Hoglet: Beginning the Journey of the Mental Ninja” and “Pit Bully: The Mental Ninja Awakens,” introduce readers to a world of characters focused on understanding themselves, their feeling and the control they have over their emotions.

In “The Tale of Fenny Fox: The Mental Ninja Emerges,” the journey continues, with the introduction to more characters and a message about the beauty of differences and the importance those differences play in people’s lives.

For more information about Buchanan’s book series, click here.

June 5, 2018

On May 18, B.I.G. Love Cancer Care teamed up with Kendra Scott to bring the Kendra Cares Program to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The program allows patients to experience the customizable Color Bar by Kendra Scott, a popular jewelry boutique, to pediatric hospitals across the country. The 2-hour event was held at the West campus location, where they provided refreshments and offered patients and their family members an opportunity to make a customized jewelry piece at no cost to them.

B.I.G Love Cancer Care Services is a non-profit, volunteer based organization committed to providing basic necessities and personalized care to cancer kids and their families.

To date, the program has donated over six thousand pieces of jewelry and has rapid national growth plans.

May 29, 2018

The Department of Emergency Management is presenting its 2nd Annual Emergency Management Corridor event:

  • Thursday, May 31, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – West Campus – First-floor corridor near conference center

Emergency Management will be on hand to help you prepare for hurricane season by offering tips and resources, getting your emergency supplies ready, and making sure you know where to go and what to do during a disaster. There also will be opportunities to join the volunteer Decontamination Team, HAM Radio Club and/or Moulage Team.

Plan to stop by this event to learn safety tips to help you prepare yourself, your family and your patients for the 2018 hurricane season.

May 22, 2018

If your little one was born a performer, now is their chance to do it live at NRG Stadium! Texas Children’s Hospital is sponsoring an event that will give participants the opportunity to practice and perform with the Houston Texans cheerleaders on Saturday, August 18, during the pregame ceremonies of the Houston Texans vs San Francisco 49ers game.

There will be a mandatory uniform fitting on Saturday, June 16, at NRG Stadium between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A mandatory rehearsal also will be held Sunday, August 5, at Houston Methodist Training Center where the children will learn their game day performance routine. Check-in begins at 1:30 p.m. and rehearsal will be from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Children ages 7-11 who love to dance and cheer are invited to participate. Registration is $199 per child and includes a Houston Texans Jr. Cheerleaders uniform, poms, Texans hair bow, post-performance dinner, online instructional video, video link to the game day performance and a one-of-a-kind Houston Texans experience!

Texas Children’s teams up with the Houston Texans to inspire children to lead healthier, more active lives through camps, programs and events all year long. We are working alongside the Texans through community engagement and educational programs to emphasize Play 60, the National Football League’s campaign to encourage kids across the country to get off the sidelines and be active for an hour a day or more to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

The Houston Texans Jr. Cheer Program is just one of many of the exciting events we’ll take part in throughout the year. Visit texaschildrens.org/texans to read more about Texas Children’s ongoing partnership with the Houston Texans.

Click here to register for and to get more details about the event.

May 15, 2018

Almost 130 children, ages 8 to 12 years old, recently attended “Camp Pump It Up,” a camp for patients with cardiac disease and their siblings.

In existence for almost 20 years, the camp has grown allowing more children to experience a weekend away with other children with heart disease. For many the camp is their first time away from home due to medical concerns, which can be managed by the medical team at camp, but would be an issue at other camps without a specialized medical team.

“Having been the physician for many of them, it is very evident how much this weekend means both to the patients but also to their families,” said Dr. Heather Dickerson, camp director and Texas Children’s cardiologist. “What this camp does for these children has kept me coming back and supporting camp for all of these years.”

During the three-day camp, campers experience horseback riding, zip lining, canoeing, fishing and archery, among other activities, for the first time, giving them to the opportunity to forget for a short time about medicines, clinic visits, tests, surgeries and all else that is involved with having a chronic disease. Long-term friendships often are formed they find out they’re not alone and that there are other children with the same issues.

Staff attending the camp were from the following departments:

Cardiology
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Congenital Heart Surgery
Child Life
Social Work
Occupational and Physical Therapy
Respiratory Care
Perfusion
Biomedical Engineering
Pediatric Radiology
Residents, patients and friends of Texas Children’s
Baylor College of Medicine staff members

On May 6, over 30,000 people from across the Greater Houston community laced up to participate in the 2018 March for Babies walk at the University of Houston, including around 400 Texas Children’s employees, patients and their families who all share the same passion for improving the health of babies.

This year, Texas Children’s contributed $103,000 as a sponsor of the 4.5-mile walk and our employees have personally raised more than $78,000 to date to support the March of Dimes. Baylor College of Medicine, US Anesthesia Partners and Morrison partnered with Texas Children’s and sponsored snacks and dessert, water, t-shirts, a tent and disc jockey.

Several months prior to the March for Babies walk, departments and units from across the organization formed their own teams to help raise money and rally support around this worthy cause. Creative teams across the organization hosted barbecues, designed and sold t-shirts, held bake sales, arranged bike tours and even paid to give their leaders a pie in the face to raise money and awareness. Each of the 30 teams raised an average of $2,600 all of which helped Texas Children’s exceed this year’s fundraising goal of $100,000.

“It was great to see everyone come together and support the March of Dimes’ mission for healthy moms and strong babies,” said Lynda Tyer-Viola, Vice President of Nursing for Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. “Since 1984, Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine have received more than $16 million from the March of Dimes to support research to prevent birth defects and prematurity. Our long-term partnership has helped significantly improve outcomes and quality of life for some of our most fragile babies – giving hope to patients and families when there once was none.”

May 9, 2018

From the time Colton Makow was born, he faced an uphill battle. He spent his first 61 days of life in Texas Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and while there, was told by doctors that his kidneys were damaged from lack of oxygen and that he one day would need a transplant.

Devastated by the news, Colton’s mother, Julie Makow, knew she would do everything she could to save her son, including giving him one of her kidneys if that’s what it took to keep him alive.

“I always thought, if given the chance, that’s going to be the one thing I can do to make it better,” Julie said. “I knew I was going to be a part of that, and that I would be the first one tested to be a match.”

Julie got her chance to see if she was a viable donor candidate when doctors told her and Colton, then 6 years old, that it was time to make a move toward getting a kidney transplant. After the test, Julie was told she was a perfect match and that she could donate one of her kidneys to her son.

In February, Dr. Christine O’Mahony, surgical director of kidney transplantation at Texas Children’s Hospital, performed the surgery. Texas Children’s performs about 30 kidney transplants a year. When the organ comes from a living donor, it typically lasts longer. For Colton, that means hopefully it will be a long time before he needs another transplant.

“He’ll have to go see the physicians a lot more frequently than he would if he were another kid, he’ll have to get labs, but his life will otherwise be the same,” O’Mahony said. “He can play sports, go to school and be just like everybody else.”

Kirti Bhakta, the transplant coordinator who worked with Colton and Julie, said she has witnessed the selfless sacrifices parents make for their children time and time again.

“It is truly heartwarming,” she said. “So many of our parents will do anything to give their children a better chance at a good life. Their actions are the epitome of unconditional love.”

Dr. Sarah Swartz, medical director of dialysis for Texas Children’s Hospital, also worked with Colton and Julie and said their story is perfect for Mother’s Day.

“Colton now has the chance to live a better life, thanks to his mom,” Swartz said. “What a beautiful reminder to him and others the power of a mother’s love as well as the difference an organ donor can make in someone’s life.”

Click here to learn more about how to become an organ donor and here to read a story by KHOU11 about the Makows.