NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 26

PINT-SIZED PATIENTS Fort Worth Lights Up in Blue to Celebrate 100 Years of Pediatric Care A drive through Fort Worth this past March showed the city lit up in blue – from residential homes to the city’s tallest skyscrapers – all in support of Cook Children’s Health Care System and the care it offers to Cowtown’s youngest residents. Part of a landmark celebration to mark the system’s 100-year anniversary, the blue lights honor a legacy of hope and healing that was born in Fort Worth. It all started in 1917 with a baby. An abandoned baby, shivering in the cold, was carried by the physician who found the child on his doorstep. Fort Worth’s former postmistress, a woman named Ida Turner, came upon the man and child and purchased a warm wrap for the child. After some investigating, Turner learned that no hospital in Fort Worth was prepared to provide charity care to an abandoned child. She resolved to change that – and the rest is history. Just four months later, on March 21, 1918, Fort Worth's Free Baby Hospital opened, and Ida Turner's dream became a reality, thanks to contributions from hundreds of community members, donated services from countless tradesmen and scores of Fort Worth volunteers. Today, Cook Children’s logs more than one million patient encounters each year from children all over Texas and the world. “Our promise is clear, concise and compelling,” says Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System, to the Fort Worth Business Press. “It is to improve the health and well-being of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Promise is a powerful word that resonates with 60-year-old grandparents and 4-year-old children as well,” he said. “Everyone knows what a promise is.” Today, Cook Children's Health Care System is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit pediatric health care organization. Based in Fort Worth, the integrated health system has more than 60 primary and specialty care offices throughout the region. Its service area includes surrounding counties, with an additional referral area encompassing nearly half the state. Luckily for patients, Cook’s Teddy Bear Transport includes two planes – one a twin-engine jet – a helicopter and five ground ambulances to transfer young patients from places as far away as Seattle, Washington, to Fort Worth for specialty care. Taming cancer is just the start for Avery The pediatric health system is nationally renowned for its work in many areas. Cook Children’s maintains one of the largest all-private neonatal intensive care units in the country, with the capacity to care for 106 of its most-fragile patients. The system’s cardiovascular program has international reach, with children coming to Fort Worth for complicated cardiac catheterization and surgical interventions from as far away as the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Japan, China and Russia. Cook’s deep brain stimulation program treats kids’ movement disorders, and its cancer program includes a treatment for neuroblastoma with Avery, Age 5 Hepatoblastoma Patient Fort Worth lit the sky blue to support Cook Children's At only 2 years old, Avery was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer at Children’s Health SM . She fearlessly faced 19 rounds of chemotherapy, six surgeries and countless nights in the hospital. Today, Avery dreams of becoming an animal doctor, taming creatures much smaller than cancer. Every patient has a dream. Read more at childrens.com/littledreamers 24 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018