Each year, children from northern and central Wisconsin are chosen locally to represent children treated at Marshfield Children's Hospital.
This year, our Miracle Kids – Amiya and Audrina, Lucas, Giada, William, Ethan – each has a story to share and they all have one thing in common. Their stories are made possible because of support from people like you.
Name: Amiya & Audrina
Twins Audrina and Amiya may share a birthday, but they are unique in many ways. Audrina is proud of being the oldest by just one minute, while Amiya is taller. Audrina loves animals and is known as the family bookworm. Amiya is a social butterfly who enjoys playing basketball, board games and hands-on arts and crafts projects. Audrina and Amiya are artistic, and enjoy expressing their creativity in drawings, paintings and delicious baking projects.
The twins’ mom, Asavari, and dad, Tom, received a surprise when they discovered they were going to have twins, especially since they were told becoming pregnant would be unlikely. Ultrasounds soon revealed the babies were growing at different rates with potential life-threatening issues for Baby A (Audrina) due to restrictive oxygen and blood flow. In December 2009, Asavari delivered by emergency c-section to give Baby A the best chance at survival.
Audrina weighed just two pounds, 1.3 ounces when she was born, and spent close to eight weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Amiya weighed four pounds, 3 ounces and spent over four weeks in the NICU. The girls were five days old before they were able to be held or bond with their parents through skin-to-skin contact. Thanks to support from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Marshfield Children’s Hospital, Tom and Asavari were given the opportunity to finally embrace and nurture their newborns with the Kangaroo Recliners there to provide comfort, support and safety for them and their babies.
Today, both sisters are strong, healthy, and happy 4th graders. Audrina visits Marshfield Children’s Hospital regularly for blood tests, but no longer needs medication for her congenital hypothyroidism. Every December, the twins look forward to bringing gifts to the families and babies in the NICU. While Audrina and Amiya are twins with distinct characteristics, they share one important quality: they’re both miracles. Miracles who have big dreams to accomplish. Dreams that would not come true if it weren’t for the Children’s Miracle Network at Marshfield Children’s Hospital.
Lucas lives for sports and spending time outside. He has dreams of playing baseball in the big leagues. At just 7 years old, life has thrown Lucas plenty of curveballs, and he has hit them all out of the park—including cancer.
When Lucas was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, his family was overwhelmed and scared. During the week they spent at Marshfield Children's Hospital to confirm the diagnosis, their care team worked to find answers and helped Lucas feel more comfortable. Support for Children's Miracle Networks Hospitals at Marshfield Children's Hospital provided Lucas' family with meal tickets and gave Lucas access to Child Life Specialists, who played with him and helped calm his nerves.
Child Life Specialists, pediatric oncologists and the entire care team stayed with Lucas throughout his treatment. They became like family. And when Lucas rang the bell to signify the end of treatment, they were all there with him to celebrate.
Lucas never lost sight of his dreams during his cancer journey. And now that he's on the other side, he's more determined than ever to make them come true.
Giada wears a "super-girl" cape, likes the color pink and knows that a little glitter makes everything better. This 10-year-old loves dancing and doing gymnastics. That's why getting the best care possible at Marshfield Children's Hospital for her Juvenile Arthritis and Uveitis is so important.
In the spring of 2015, Giada told her mom that the tops of her feet hurt and were too swollen to put shoes on. She was referred to Marshfield Children's Hospital, where she received her diagnosis and began her ongoing injections and infusions to manage the condition. Giada also developed cataracts and had surgery to help slow the disease. She receives multiple eye drops throughout the day and weekly injections at home. Thanks to support for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Marshfield Children's Hospital, Child Life Specialists make the hospital experience easier for Giada. They let her pick from the prize box, put on fun Band-Aids and give her freeze pops when she comes in for her treatments.
Since her treatments began, Giada hasn't felt any joint pain. Even though she "hates pokes," she enjoys visiting her friends at Marshfield Children's Hospital every month. They make her smile. And they help her feel better so she can play and dance.
Will is a typical toddler—strong-willed, fun-loving and active. He loves to play outside. You'd never know that he spent the first 98 days of his life inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
After Will's mom developed HELLP Syndrome, a serious complication of high blood pressure during pregnancy, Will was delivered at Marshfield Children's Hospital at just 29 weeks. He progressed well for the first month, but then started having complications after feedings where he would stop breathing and turn blue. During these episodes, nurses, Child Life Specialists and other staff would rush to his aid and help his parents remain calm. When Will's parents had to leave the hospital, they could watch him in his isolette using NicView camera technology thanks to donations to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Marshfield Children' Hospital.
When it was time for Will to leave the hospital, his care team helped his parents through the transition with specialized equipment and support. Almost 100 days after he was born, Will went home and his older brother got to meet him in person for the first time.
Today, Will is going places. He may have been born premature, but now he has the whole world in front of him. There's no telling where he'll go next.
Hometown: Stevens Point
Ethan is 10 years old and likes watching YouTube, riding his bike and scooter and swimming. Recently he's added playing ukulele to his talents.
One day a little over a year ago, Ethan was playing in the woods when a strong gust of wind caused a tree branch to break and fall on him. The afternoon adventure suddenly turned into an experience every parent fears. The branch crushed Ethan's skull. He was taken to Marshfield Children's Hospital by med-flight and immediately taken to surgery to remove part of his frontal lobe.
Ethan spent a total of four months in the hospital recovering from these life-threatening injuries—two of those months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Over their long journey, Ethan's family utilized numerous services and support from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Marshfield Children's Hospital. Distraction stations were a help to Ethan for sensory stimulation from his bed to help calm him when he was agitated, experiencing pain, or feeling frustrated from not being able to communicate his needs. A large part of Ethan's recovery came from the Snoezelen Room where he was able to decompress and calm himself and eventually explore all of his senses. Through therapies, he was able to relearn how to control his large muscles and eventually learn his fine motor skills by learning to play the ukulele with Music Therapy.
A year later, Ethan is walking, talking and catching up in school. He continues to participate in therapies to further improve his language, memory and communicative skills. Ethan is also teaching his new puppy, Hedwig, how to do tricks. He hopes that one day Hedwig could become a therapy dog, as Ethan looked forward to his therapy dog visits during his hospitalization.
Someday, Ethan would like to be a chiropractor. His family and care team at Marshfield Children's Hospital continues to help him become all the wants to be. Ethan is proof that if you never give up, there are no limits to what you can do.