2016 Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero: Coral


Coral, and her identical twin sister Casey, were born nearly three months ahead of their mother’s due date at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. In addition to the “normal” preemie complications, Coral was born with free air in her abdomen and a tethered spine. When she was just 6-days-old, Coral had a major surgery to remove the free air, which resulted in a ruptured appendix requiring further care. Miraculously, Coral recovered from this procedure only to endure an even more severe procedure later during her stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Since the lower portion of Coral’s spinal cord had wrapped itself around the bone, she needed spinal cord release surgery to prevent future paralysis. When it was time for Coral to undergo this surgery, her doctors successfully released the tethering of her spine and reconstructed a portion of Coral’s lower back. Coral spent the next three months recovering in the pediatric intensive care and post-surgical care units at Women & Children’s.

Today, Coral is a healthy and adventure-seeking 10-year-old. Despite some minor physical restrictions, she enjoys many activities just as other kids her age, such as riding her bike, ice skating, and playing basketball. Coral has also developed a passion for running; she even broke her school’s record for the 50-meter dash. Someday, Coral hopes to be an Olympic runner.

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