DCH News

Looking back: The little girl who battled H1N1 and prevailed

February 15, 2013
Kayla Piñon (center) reflected on her life-threatening battle with the H1N1 flu recently with her parents, Luis and Melinda Piñon.
Kayla Piñon (center) reflected on her life-threatening battle with the H1N1 flu recently with her parents, Luis and Melinda Piñon.
Driscoll Children's Hospital celebrates its 60th anniversary with a series of stories about extraordinary patients

CORPUS CHRISTI - The number of South Texas families whose lives have been touched by Driscoll Children's Hospital since it opened its doors in 1953 is incalculable. And of the countless children who've come to the hospital in the past 60 years, many stand out for their particularly memorable stories. Driscoll is sharing some of those stories of hope and healing throughout 2013 as part of its 60th anniversary celebration.

Kayla Piñon became a member of the Driscoll family in 2009 when, at 10 years old, she battled her way back from a life-threatening case of the H1N1 flu. More than 1,000 children died from H1N1 during the 2009 pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Popularly known as swine flu, H1N1 was particularly harmful to the young, who had little natural resistance to a virus that hadn't circulated in decades. Hundreds of people became ill with the virus in Nueces County and at least 11 people died from it between 2009 and 2010.

When she was admitted to Driscoll Children's Hospital, Kayla was dehydrated, underweight and gasping for air due to excessive fluid in her lungs.

"I just remember going into the hospital, then tubes being taken out of me seven days later," she said recently at her home.

Driscoll physicians said Kayla's was the severest case of the H1N1 flu they had ever seen. To make matters worse, she was also suffering from a staph infection called MRSA. It took a diverse team of experts and modern medical technology to save the girl's life. The tubes she recalled being taken out of her came from an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, a mechanized pump that circulates the patient's blood and provides oxygen to the body when the body can't do it alone. It works like an artificial lung for patients who can't be supported with a ventilator, as was the case with Kayla.

"This case exemplifies the great teamwork that exists here at Driscoll Children's Hospital," said Karl Serrao, MD, a pediatric intensivist who helped treat Kayla. "To make this miracle happen, everyone including nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and many others worked together. Our community and our children benefit daily from Driscoll's investment in the ECMO machine and other innovative technologies and therapies."

Watching their daughter struggle to breathe, unconscious, was a day-to-day, nail-biting experience for her parents. When Kayla regained her health, her father, Luis Piñon, said it was a miracle. He also credited Driscoll's staff for being a source of comfort throughout the ordeal.

"The people there go above and beyond," he said. "From the chaplains, doctors and nurses to the housekeepers - they all treat you with respect, like you're part of the family. They don't give up hope."

Kayla gained local notoriety after her recovery. She and her parents gracefully gave interviews to newspaper and TV reporters who were eager to tell the story of the little girl who beat the odds. To this day, people who read about Kayla or saw her on TV ask about her, said her mother, Melinda Piñon.

Now a cheerful 8th grader who participates in tumbling at school, Kayla has a slight cough due to a small amount of fluid in her lungs - remnants of the H1N1 flu, explained her mother. She sees a Driscoll pulmonologist every three months for a check-up and breathing tests. All indications are that "she's doing good," Melinda Piñon said.

Luis Piñon has a new appreciation for the emotional challenges parents face when their child is hospitalized with a serious illness.

"Nobody really knows what that situation will be like until you're in those four walls," he said. "At times I had doubts about Kayla's outcome. But she's a survivor."

For the Driscoll team who treated Kayla, her case stands out as a moment of pride.

"It was an inspiration not only to see the family persevere and Kayla win, but also to see the staff at Driscoll step up to the plate during that challenging time of the H1N1 influenza outbreak," Dr. Serrao said.

The Piñons, who live in Corpus Christi, said they're grateful to have Driscoll Children's Hospital in their hometown. They've also taken their kids to Driscoll Children's Urgent Care clinic when they were sick.

"When people ask me about their children's illnesses, I tell them to take them to Driscoll," Melinda Piñon said.

Luis Piñon remembers driving past Driscoll Children's Hospital as a child. He said he hopes the hospital is around for another 60 years.

"We're blessed to have a hospital like Driscoll in Corpus Christi. For me, it's second to none. That's from the heart."

Driscoll staff will probably see Kayla in the future as a volunteer in the Summer Volunteen Program, her mother said. She loves to take care of children, particularly the young cousins she babysits.

"Children kind of gravitate to her," Melinda Piñon said.

Always optimistic, Kayla said her experience at Driscoll Children's Hospital helped her choose a career field.

"It would be a dream come true to be a nurse. I would like to help kids when they're sick. I already know about respiratory therapy and the machines that are used."
MORE NEWS

Dr. Gulbronson joins Driscoll as developmental and behavioral pediatrician

August 21, 2014
Maricela Gulbronson

Maricela Dominguez Gulbronson, MD, FAAP, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a developmental and behavioral pediatrician. Dr. Gulbronson comes from Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric of the Carolinas in Concord, N.C., where she was the medical director since 2010. She is board-certified in both General Pediatrics and Development Pediatrics. In 2004, Dr. Gulbronson was selected to Consumers' Research Council's America's Top Pediatricians, and in 2013 she earned U.S. News and World Report's Top Doctor honors. She attended Rice University and received her medical degree from the University of Texas Houston Medical School in 1995. Dr. Gulbronson, who grew up in Laredo, did her pediatric residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and completed a developmental-behavioral pediatric fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Roxana Reyna de Driscoll fue honrada por el Condado de Nueces

July 10, 2014
 El 9 de Julio presente, acompañada por el Presidente y CEO del Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll, Steve Woerner, y la Vicepresidente Asistente de Servicios de Cuidado de pacientes, Patricia Carr, Roxana Reyna aceptó una resolución del juez de Nueces County, Loyd Neal (centro). También se encontraban presente para la presentación los Comisionados del Condado (de izquierda): Mike Pusley, Oscar Ortiz, Joe McComb y Joe A. Gonzalez.
El 9 de Julio presente, acompañada por el Presidente y CEO del Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll, Steve Woerner, y la Vicepresidente Asistente de Servicios de Cuidado de pacientes, Patricia Carr, Roxana Reyna aceptó una resolución del juez de Nueces County, Loyd Neal (centro). También se encontraban presente para la presentación los Comisionados del Condado (de izquierda): Mike Pusley, Oscar Ortiz, Joe McComb y Joe A. Gonzalez.
El Miércoles, la enfermera del Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll, Roxana Reyna, recibió una resolución de la corte de Comisionados del Condado de Nueces como "celebración de su creatividad e ingenio".

Reyna, quien es un especialista en cuidado de piel y heridas, es parte del programa MakerNurse y debido a su uso creativo de cinta adhesiva, mantas, vendajes para adultos en usos pediátricos y otras innovaciones para los pacientes han impactado positivamente las vidas de niños y las vidas de sus padres. Esa creatividad también le valió un viaje a la Casa blanca el mes pasado para participar en la "Feria Maker" de la Casa Blanca. El Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll es uno de sólo cinco hospitales y el único hospital de niños elegido como un sitio de expedición de MakerNurse.

La proclamación del Tribunal de Comisionados del Condado, en parte, lee: "Se resuelve que la corte de Comisionados del Condado de Nueces por la presente reconoce Roxana Reyna, Maker del 2014 de acuerdo a la selección del Presidente de los Estados Unidos y exhorta a los ciudadanos del Condado de Nueces a unirse a la corte felicitando a Roxana Reyna por su dedicación y espíritu innovador que sin duda ha cambiado vidas y seguirá impactando a los niños y padres positivamente en todo el Sur de Texas."

Steve Woerner, Presidente y CEO del Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll, y la Vicepresidente Asistente de Servicios de Cuidado de pacientes, Patricia Carr, también estuvieron presentes apoyando a Reyna al recibo de la resolución.

"Es un honor aceptar esto en nombre de todos los médicos, enfermeras y personal del Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll, quienes continúan manteniendo la visión de Clara Driscoll ofreciendo esperanza y curación a los niños del Sur de Texas,", dijo Reyna.

Driscoll's Roxana Reyna honored by Nueces County

July 09, 2014
Roxana Reyna accepts a resolution from Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal (middle) on July 9 as Driscoll Children's Hospital President and CEO Steve Woerner and Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services Patricia Carr look on. Also on hand for the presentation were County Commissioners (from left): Mike Pusley, Oscar Ortiz, Joe McComb and Joe A. Gonzalez.
Roxana Reyna accepts a resolution from Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal (middle) on July 9 as Driscoll Children's Hospital President and CEO Steve Woerner and Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services Patricia Carr look on. Also on hand for the presentation were County Commissioners (from left): Mike Pusley, Oscar Ortiz, Joe McComb and Joe A. Gonzalez.
Driscoll Children's Hospital nurse Roxana Reyna was given a resolution from the Nueces County Commissioners Court on Wednesday as a "celebration of her creativity and resourcefulness."

Reyna, who is a skin and wound specialist, is part of the MakerNurse program because of her creative use of tape, blankets, adult wound dressings for pediatric uses and other innovations at the bedside that have positively impacted children's lives and the lives of their parents. That creativity also earned her a trip to the White House last month to participate in the White House's Maker Faire. Driscoll Children's Hospital is one of just five hospitals and the only children's hospital to be chosen as a MakerNurse Expedition site.

The County Commissioners Court proclamation, in part, read: "Be it resolved that the Nueces County Commissioners Court hereby recognizes Roxana Reyna, a 2014 Maker as selected by the President of the United States, and urges citizens of Nueces County to join the Court in congratulating Roxana Reyna for her commitment and innovative spirit that has in no doubt changed lives and will continue to positively impact the children and parents all over South Texas."

Driscoll Children's Hospital President and CEO Steve Woerner and assistant vice president of Patient Care Services Patricia Carr also were on hand to help Reyna receive the resolution.

"It's an honor to accept this on behalf of all the doctors, nurses and staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital, who continue to keep Clara Driscoll's vision alive in offering hope and healing to the children of South Texas," Reyna said.

Driscoll Children's Hospital nurse Roxana Reyna an invited guest at the White House

June 18, 2014
Driscoll Children's Hospital skin and wound care specialist Roxana Reyna appeared at the White House on Wednesday for the White House Maker Faire.
Driscoll Children's Hospital skin and wound care specialist Roxana Reyna appeared at the White House on Wednesday for the White House Maker Faire.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Driscoll Children's Hospital nurse Roxana Reyna is at the White House today for the White House Maker Faire. President Barack Obama and his staff invited innovators - what the White House calls "Makers" - from across the country for a visit to show off their creations.

Reyna, who is a skin and wound care specialist, is part of the MakerNurse program at Driscoll Children's Hospital, which is just one of five hospitals and the only children's hospital to be chosen as a MakerNurse Expedition site. The MakerNurse Initiative is an effort led by the Little Devices Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to honor the inventive spirit of nurses across America.

When leaders from the Little Devices Lab visited Driscoll Children's Hospital, they saw Reyna's creativity when she rolled up a blanket and held it together with tape to create positioning devices to better serve her patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She also found different ways to use wound dressings - usually made for adults - on pediatric patients.

"The inventions start at the bedside, because the need is always at the bedside first," Reyna said. "If you took a person that sits behind a desk and doesn't have that clinical experience of the bedside, then they may not be able to find the right way to apply their product. As nurses, we have that bedside experience, and we know exactly what we need, and we're able to create our own products that can have an impact on these kids' lives and the lives of their parents."

Reyna was chosen after the MakerNurse program submitted her name to the White House. She will show off some of her bedside creations along with Kelly Reilly, a nurse from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.



"We can find Makers everywhere in our community, and these are just some examples of that," said Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media. "Makers themselves can be as varied as their interests. They may be found in a number of different occupations from artists and designers, to engineers and computer scientists, educators, crafters and mechanics. What's true of all Makers is that what they do opens new doors and often leads to new relationships and unexpected opportunities."

Rockport-Fulton's cancer survivor earns scholarship from the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital

June 16, 2014
Denali Huff, 18, accepts the Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Award from Driscoll Children's Hospital Auxiliary president Nancy Gunter (center) and assistant treasurer Marihelen Boyd on Thursday at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Denali Huff, 18, accepts the Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Award from Driscoll Children's Hospital Auxiliary president Nancy Gunter (center) and assistant treasurer Marihelen Boyd on Thursday at Driscoll Children's Hospital.


As a volunteer at Driscoll Children's Hospital, Denali Huff did everything she could to help in the oncology department. Three years later, Huff relied on everyone in the oncology department to help her.

In December of her senior year, the Rockport-Fulton High School student experienced awful stomach pains. At home, lying in her bed wracked in pain, Huff pulled up her shirt and was shocked to see massive lumps protruding from her abdomen. Her mom immediately took her to Driscoll Children's Hospital where a sonogram revealed two ovarian cysts, including one that was more than 6 1/2 inches in diameter. When the cysts were removed, doctors found them to be cancerous. That meant two months of grueling chemotherapy.

Last week, a cancer-free Denali walked the stage at Rockport-Fulton's football stadium and received her diploma. Now, she's headed to college thanks in part to the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital's Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Award. Denali and Van Vleck High School graduate Andrew Laury, who attended Calallen Middle School, each received the scholarship, which is named after a devoted Driscoll Children's Hospital volunteer and is given to students who are former or current Driscoll oncology patients.

The Driscoll Auxiliary also gives out the Clara Driscoll Spirit Scholarship, which is awarded to some of the hospital's student volunteers. On Thursday afternoon, Driscoll Auxilians had a reception to honor all the scholarship recipients in the Residents Conference Room at the hospital.

"This scholarship means a lot to me," Denali said. "I've always wanted to go to college, but it's really expensive. Most of the money my parents saved up for college was spent on medical bills for my hospital stays and cancer treatments. I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to afford college because of this, so when I found out I was being given this scholarship, I felt so honored and relieved at the same time."

Denali already has been accepted into multiple colleges, but she's still trying to decide which one will be best for her dance career. Denali started dancing when she was six years old and evolved into an award-winning dancer. She credits dancing into helping her get through those arduous chemotherapy treatments. She started treatments in January and set a goal to be able to compete in the Revelation Dance Competition in April in Kyle. Three weeks after receiving her final chemotherapy treatment, Denali not only competed, she danced well enough to win an award for her solo dance.

"Thinking about dance is what kept me looking forward the whole time," said Denali, who competed in a wig to mask one of the side effects of chemotherapy. "I had that goal that I was going to compete as soon as I was finished with my treatment. No matter how bad I felt or how rough the treatments got, I kept that goal in my head, and it helped me get going every day."

With cancer behind her, the 18-year-old is ready to head off to college this fall and see where her love of dance will take her.

"I can't wait to see what's next," Denali said. "As long as I'm dancing, I'll be happy, and I'll know that Driscoll helped me get to that point."

Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Recipients

Denali Huff, Rockport-Fulton High School

Andrew Laury, Van Vleck High School

Clara Driscoll Spirit Scholarship Recipients

Anushka Bhowal, Carroll

Paige Comstock, Ray

Victoria Gonzales, Tuloso-Midway

Brittany Kellogg, Tuloso-Midway

Hannah Perez, Carroll

Gabrielle Jade L. Redublo, Redublo Academy/Home School

Anissa M. Trevino, Carroll

Ruby Trevino, Collegiate HS

Former Calallen student earns scholarship from the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital

June 16, 2014
Andrew Laury, 17, accepts the Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Award from Driscoll Children's Hospital Auxiliary president Nancy Gunter (center) and assistant treasurer Marihelen Boyd on Thursday at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Andrew Laury, 17, accepts the Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Award from Driscoll Children's Hospital Auxiliary president Nancy Gunter (center) and assistant treasurer Marihelen Boyd on Thursday at Driscoll Children's Hospital.




Entering Calallen High School, Andrew Laury envisioned himself spending his Friday nights under the bright lights of a football field like so many Texas students his age. Then, just weeks into his freshman year, Andrew began experiencing seizures, including 14 in a single day. A trip to Driscoll Children's Hospital revealed Andrew had a brain tumor.

After surgery and a year of chemotherapy and radiation, Andrew finally was on the football field last week, but this time he donned a graduation cap and gown instead of a helmet and shoulder pads. Now, he's headed to Wharton County Junior College thanks in part to the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital's Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Award. Andrew and Rockport-Fulton High School graduate Denali Huff each received the scholarship, which is named after a devoted Driscoll Children's Hospital volunteer and is given to students who are former or current Driscoll oncology patients.

The Driscoll Auxiliary also gives out the Clara Driscoll Spirit Scholarship, which is awarded to some of the hospital's student volunteers. On Thursday afternoon, Driscoll Auxilians held a reception to honor all the scholarship recipients in the Residents Conference Room at the hospital.

"It's going to pay for most of my college, so I can have a better future," said Andrew, who will celebrate his 18th birthday June 13. "I've been through some rough times, but now I can go to college, which will help me get a solid job with pay and benefits and will allow me to be a successful person and hopefully help kids like myself in the future."

When he was declared cancer-free before his junior year and moved to Van Vleck, Andrew held out hopes of playing high school football as a senior. He didn't end up being cleared for physical contact, but that didn't stop him from being a competitor in the classroom.

"He was an immense pleasure to teach in class," Van Vleck High School English teacher Jonathan Lunsford said. "His positive attitude is definitely infectious and increases his ability to work with and motivate his fellow classmates."

Andrew attributes that positive attitude to the support he received both in his community and at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Andrew lived in Corpus Christi and attended Calallen Middle School and Calallen High School before moving to Van Vleck after his sophomore year.

"The powerful strength in a small community in Calallen that rallied together to support me, and the support I received at Driscoll was unbelievable," Andrew said. "The hospital has an amazing staff that deals with illness daily, but still had a smile and strong words of encouragement to help me make it through my journey. I was never alone."

Marcia K. Wilcox Scholarship Recipients

Denali Huff, Rockport-Fulton High School

Andrew Laury, Van Vleck High School

Clara Driscoll Spirit Scholarship Recipients

Anushka Bhowal, Carroll

Paige Comstock, Ray

Victoria Gonzales, Tuloso-Midway

Brittany Kellogg, Tuloso-Midway

Hannah Perez, Carroll

Gabrielle Jade L. Redublo, Redublo Academy/Home School

Anissa M. Trevino, Carroll

Ruby Trevino, Collegiate HS

Outdoor activities, games and camaraderie in store for asthmatic children at Camp Easy Breathers

June 10, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - Asthmatic children will partake in some swashbuckling this summer as the 13th annual Camp Easy Breathers gets underway in Rockport. Sponsored by Driscoll Children's Hospital, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and the Coastal Bend Asthma Initiative, it will be from June 16-20, 2014 at Camp Aranzazu.

"A Wild and Wacky theme is being incorporated into some of the group activities this year," said Shelly Bigelow, camp director and respiratory therapist at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "It's about team building and helping the kids get to know each other better."

While there is no cure for asthma, Camp Easy Breathers emphasizes to children with the disease that they can live a healthy, active life. The physical and social activities they'll experience will be fun and also increase their understanding of asthma, Bigelow said.

The camp utilizes interactive teaching methods such as open dialogue, various media, activities and game-play. All will reinforce key lessons to the children such as:

  • Understanding asthma and how it affects them;

  • Recognizing and avoiding asthma attack triggers;

  • Recognizing warning signs to improve asthma management;

  • Knowing how and when to take medicine;

  • Staying healthy and staying in school.


Activities at the camp will include swimming, archery, arts and crafts, outdoor games, sports and an awards show.

"Camp Easy Breathers is a great opportunity for children to make new friends, become more independent and take on real challenges in a safe environment," Bigelow said.

Asthma is a chronic disease in which the airways in the lungs become swollen, clogged and overly sensitive to changes in the environment. During an attack, the muscles that surround the airways tighten and the inner lining of the airways swells and pushes inward. Asthma kills about 5,000 Americans each year and costs the United States more than $10 billion a year in direct and indirect medical expenses. Timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment, partnership with a healthcare professional and reduction of exposure to environmental factors are some of the things that help children living with asthma.

  • What: 13th annual Camp Easy Breathers for asthmatic children ages 7-14

  • When: June 16-20

  • Where: Camp Aranzazu, 5420 Loop 1781, Rockport

May is National Trauma Awareness Month

May 05, 2014
Remember to always wear your helmet!
Remember to always wear your helmet!
CORPUS CHRISTI - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more children ages 5 -14 go to emergency rooms for bicycle related injuries than with any other sport, many are head injuries. It is important to keep your head safe and always wear a helmet when participating in a wheeled sport. Here are some tips from Driscoll Children's Hospital, Kohl's Keep Your Kids Safe, and Kohl's Cares:

Fitting your helmet:

Step 1: Size: Measure your head to find the correct size. To measure properly, start above the eyebrows and measure to the widest part of the head. Try on several helmets until one fits right.

Step 2: Position: The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead - one or two finger widths above your eyebrow.

Step 3: Side Straps: Adjust the slider on both straps to form a "V" shape under and slightly in front of the ears.

Step 4: Buckles: Center the left buckle under the chin. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments.

Step 5: Chin Strap: Buckle your chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

Step 6: Final fitting:

Does your helmet fit right? Open your mouth wide and yawn. The helmet should pull down on your head. If not refer back to step 5 and tighten the chin strap.

Does your helmet rock back more than two fingers above the eyebrows? If so, unbuckle and shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward. Buckle and retighten the chin strap, and test again.

Does your helmet rock forward into your eyes? If so, unbuckle and tighten the back strap by moving the slider back toward the ear. Buckle and retighten the chin strap, and test again.

Roll the rubber band down to the buckle. All four straps must go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to prevent from slipping.

Here are some great tips for helmet use:

  • Replace your helmet when it has been in a crash; damage is not always visible.

  • Buy/fit the helmet for now: Buy a helmet that fits your head not a helmet to grow into.

  • Ensure helmet comfort: If you buy a helmet that you find comfortable and attractive, you are more likely to wear it. Readjust as necessary to ensure the helmet fits properly each ride.

  • Cover you head: Adjust the helmet fitting based on your helmet first being in the correct position, level on the head and low on your forehead.

  • Adjust straps until snug: Both the side and chin straps need to be snug.

  • Avoid helmet rocking: Your helmet should not rock forward, backward or side-to-side on your head. If your helmet rocks more than an inch, go back to step 6 and re-adjust.


Remember to always wear your helmet on every ride! http://www.keepyourkidssafe-kck.com/

Driscoll's kidney transplant recipients come from all over South Texas for annual Reunion

April 28, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Saturday, Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate seven years of renal transplants with patients and their families at the annual Transplant Reunion. For nearly 10 years, Driscoll's Kidney Center has offered comprehensive kidney care to the children of South Texas, including transplantation, general nephrology services, on-site and home pediatric dialysis. For children with end-stage renal disease, transplantation is the ideal treatment.

"The reunion not only fosters the relationship between our patients who see they aren't alone in this journey, but it allows our patients and staff to reconnect outside of the clinic as well," said Leticia Castaneda, social worker at Driscoll's Kidney Center.

According to Samhar Al-Akash, MD, medical director of the Kidney Center, patients and staff members alike look forward to the event every year. "We enjoy seeing our patients outside of the clinic, running around and having fun. It means we did our jobs by giving them a better quality of life away from dialysis machines and medical equipment," he said.

As the only pediatric transplant program in South Texas, Driscoll has performed 72 kidney transplants since the program began in 2007. Patients range in age from 1 to 21 years, and come from all over South Texas

"We're honored that parents choose Driscoll Children's Hospital to care for their children," said Stephen Almond, MD, surgical director of Driscoll's Renal Transplant Program. "This reunion is just a way for us to say thank you to our patients and families and to celebrate their new lives."

  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Transplant Reunion

  • When: Noon Saturday, April 26

  • Where: FunTrackers, 9605 South Padre Island Dr.

Driscoll's Teddy Bear Hospital is a chance for patients to be the doctors

April 08, 2014
WHAT: Patients will be the doctors tomorrow during a Teddy Bear Hospital organized by the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. The event allows children to become more familiar with the medical equipment and procedures involved in their treatment. They'll choose their teddy bear, give it a name and, with the help of Child Life Specialists and other Driscoll staff, measure its height and weight, place an IV and draw labs, give it an X-ray, attach an anesthesia mask for surgery and put an arm or leg in a cast. The Teddy Bear Hospital and the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital are made possible by a $1 million donation from Stripes convenience stores.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.