Meet Paul: 2019 Family Advocacy Day Child Champion
Paul is participating at 2019 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 25-26 in Washington, D.C. During the event, Paul will share information about his health journey and the importance of children’s health care with members of Congress. Below is his story.
Meet Paul! Paul is a special little 3-year-old whose favorite activities include brushing his teeth and taking baths. One of his favorite memories is meeting Santa at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital!
Paul has spent a lot of time in the hospital during his short life. Before he was even born, testing found that Paul had Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome. When he was just 6 months old, the neurosurgery department at Oishei Children’s discovered that Paul’s spinal cord was tethered as they performed a routine evaluation to clear him for surgery. Without this timely discovery, Paul may not have been walking today. Doctors also discovered hydronephrosis, a kidney obstruction that required urologists to keep him under close supervision initially. Further, because Paul has Down syndrome, he was born with anatomical differences in his cranial structure that impacted his ability to breathe. Thankfully, the Ear, Nose, and Throat team at Oishei Children’s was able to remove his adenoids and tonsils at an early age to address these issues.
Paul’s loving parents share that, “In the infancy stage of our son’s life, we were constantly in the hospital for procedures, exams, and surgeries. Now, we are at a place where issues continue to arise, but we are able to navigate them with more ease.”
Today, Paul is in pre-k and thriving—largely due to the care and support he received from his entire team during his time at the hospital. He is a bright light who daily teaches those around him about how people who look or sound different are not to be segregated and underestimated.
Join us in welcoming Paul to 2019 Family Advocacy Day!