2015 Family Advocacy Day Hero -- Marina
Marina lived the first three years of her life in the abandoned baby ward of a Ukrainian hospital. Despite being born with multiple health conditions and malformations, she has an indomitable will to live. Marina captured the heart of an American missionary family who brought her to the United States at age 3 in a desperate attempt to save her life, which so far has included 15 surgeries. Marina’s day-to-day survival is dependent on an intricate web of pediatric specialists, medical equipment and clinical support.
After struggling for years to obtain insurance for Marina, she is now covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program. With a lifetime of specialized care and medications in Marina’s future, this coverage is a critical lifeline for her family. Meeting Marina you would never dream that this tiny little girl with a can-do attitude has been through unspeakable suffering. Today, thanks to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Chronic-Complex Clinic, she is an outgoing and optimistic 12 year old who loves swimming, video blogging, animals and Barbie dolls.
You can see Marina having the time of her life in this recent video about St. Joseph's Children's Hospital of Tampa's Prom Night