Family Advocacy Day Hero -- Meet Johnny C.

Johnny C., Age: 3 Johnny C.jpeg
Hometown: Chevy Chase, MD
Hospital: HSC Pediatric Center, Washington, DC


Just four days after being born with spina bifida, Johnny underwent surgery to close the open lesion on his back. To correct his clubbed feet, Johnny had to spend the first eight weeks of his life in casts. A curious child, eager to explore his surroundings, Johnny’s family couldn’t wait to get him a wheelchair so he could keep up with his peers and experience the independence so critical to a toddler’s development. 

Unfortunately, their insurance company denied the claim, stating that “it is not medically necessary for a toddler to be independently mobile.” Johnny’s therapists and equipment specialists at HSC Pediatric Center immediately sprang into action, brainstorming ways to have the appeal overturned. Thankfully, Johnny received his wheelchair, but without HSC Pediatric Center’s support and personal networks, he would still be waiting for a wheelchair today.

Johnny loves reading books, blocks, showing off his “big-boy bed,” playing with his sisters, cuddling, and doing wheelies and spins in his wheelchair. He also participates in adaptive tennis, swimming, T-ball and skiing and is met by smiles everywhere he goes as he shows others how much joy there is in life!

Fact: Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program helps fund training for more than 6,000 resident pediatricians every year.

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