Aspire Magazine Issue 2 - Page 24

P U RV EYO RS O F PLAY FROM LEFT: David Southworth and Joe Deitch applaud Barbara Nicklaus; Jack Nicklaus teaches aspiring golfers tips of his trade. “The biggest challenge today in children’s medicine and pediatric care is getting the word out about where help is.” - BARBARA NICKLAUS HOW HAVE THE CHILDREN YOU’VE HELPED THROUGH NCHCF INSPIRED YOU? Victoria, an 18-year old girl born in Venezuela, attended a recent luncheon benefitting the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Victoria explained that she was born with a congenital heart defect, but did not experience symptoms until she was 10 years old. The first incident happened while swimming with friends and family, and she suffered horrible chest pains. She knew something was wrong. At 10 years old, she’s old enough to understand what’s happening—and it can be very scary. Victoria had surgery in Venezuela that went terribly wrong. 22 ISSUE TWO | ASPIRE Victoria’s mom was encouraged to get her care outside of the country, as she could not get the medical care she needed and was dying. Victoria fortunately was able to get the lifesaving surgeries she required at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. When I first met Victoria at a gala last year, she wore this cute, low-cut gown that showed her scar. I realized then that her scar is beautiful. It means life. I will never look at a scar in the same way again. Sometimes you focus on all of the medical aspects, and then, “boom!” something like that hits you, and you’ll never forget it. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TODAY IN CHILDREN’S MEDICINE AND PEDIATRIC CARE? The biggest challenge today in children’s medicine and pediatric care is getting the word out about where help is. Medicine has changed significantly over time. Parents want their children at home and the hospital is not the first place they want to go. We have our flagship in Miami, but also 14 outpatient centers, from Miami to Stuart. Parents love the benefits of accessing world-class health care close to home, yet if they do need to go to Miami, we have helicopters that fly to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami in minutes.