Olson Family Overcomes Life-threatening Obstacles to Welcome Baby Girl

Ashley Olson and daughter Stella (photo courtesy of the Telegram & Gazette)

Just 15 weeks into her pregnancy, Ashley Olson’s water broke due to a preterm premature rupture of the membranes, or PPROM. “Many couples facing PPROM are advised to terminate the pregnancy,” said Ashley in a recent interview with the Telegram & Gazette, but she and her husband Patrick “refused to give up.” Ashley’s high-risk obstetrician admitted her to the Medical Center at 24 weeks; eight weeks later, baby Stella was born. “She didn’t make a sound at birth. Her lungs were really flat and doctors prepared us to say goodbye to her,” explained Ashley. But thanks to “an army of love” and the lifesaving work of our Children’s Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) staff, Stella is now two weeks old and thriving. Read Stella’s story.

Railers Score Big at Our Medical Center; Win Free Tickets

Last week, our good friend Trax from the Worcester Railers stopped by with two of his friends, hockey players Evan Buitenhuis and Mitch Gillam, to visit Children’s Medical Center patients on 5 East and the pediatric intensive care unit. Children were invited to color with their special visitors and have their photos taken. A big thank you to the Railers for a great visit! Watch the video below. Plus, win free tickets to this Saturday’s UMass Memorial Family Night. It’s easy. Just answer what team the Railers are playing on Saturday. Email your answer by today at 5 pm to communications@umassmemorial.org with the subject Railers Tickets.

Charity Brightens Holidays for Children’s Medical Center Patients

Jayden’s Keys 4 Happiness donated holiday decorations and gifts to our Children’s Medical Center.

Though his life was short, his memory will live on through Jayden’s Keys 4 Happiness charity. Deidre Carlson and her family adopted Jayden when he was 2 years old. It has been one year since Jayden passed away at age 7, but his mother said, “The first anniversary, we’re going to focus on something more than mourning, We’re giving back.” Remembering Jayden’s time at the Children’s Medical Center, Deidre wanted to make Christmas brighter for children who would be spending Christmas in the hospital with battery-operated Christmas trees and other items she collected. She hopes they all can make a difference. See the Boston 25 News story.

Unicorn and Emoji Sightings at the Children’s Medical Center

A Halloween parade was set up for children spending the holiday at UMass Memorial. A line of caregivers from departments throughout the Medical Center festively dressed as unicorns, emoji, witches and board games to hand out candy to the children who were clad in their oh-so-cute monster, princess, bug and superhero costumes. This parade was a great and successful way of making these kids feel like they did not have to miss out on any Halloween candy-filled fun. Meanwhile in the NICU, our tiniest patients were decked out for their Halloween festivities compliments of Project Sweet Peas. #boointheUMassMemorialCMC #boointheCMCNICU #boofromUMassMemorial

Share Your Ideas About University Campus Healing Garden

healing garden mock-up

A model of the University Campus Healing Garden

All are invited to stop by the University Campus Faculty Conference Room (S1-342) on Thursday, November 29, 10 am to 3 pm, to learn about plans for a new Healing Garden near the University Campus emergency department. This garden to “inspire hope, healing and dreams” was initiated by Stefanie Gauguet, MD, PhD, pediatric critical care, who organized a committee to fill this need for our patients, their families and our caregivers. The committee has drafted plans and constructed models for the garden over the last year. The gathering on November 29 is an opportunity for members of the Medical School and Medical Center communities to learn about this exciting initiative and share their comments and feedback. For more information, email Dr. Gauguet.

Good Fit Program Aim: Reduce Health Problems Associated With Obesity

Dr. Bram

Dr. Aidlen

Jennifer Bram, MD, and Jeremy Aidlen, MD, co-directors of the Children’s Medical Center Good Fit Teen Weight and Wellness Clinic, recently sat down with Michael Hirsh, MD, host of the Worcester District Medical Society’s Health Matters program, to discuss childhood obesity and the health problems that can result from being overweight. With about 30 percent of children in Massachusetts being flagged as obese or overweight, and data trending upward toward that number reaching 48 percent by the year 2020, Drs. Bram and Aidlen stress the need to take immediate control of this growing epidemic. Watch the interview, which aired on Health Matters on WCCA-TV, Charter/Spectrum Channel 194. Learn more about the Good Fit Clinic.

Calling All Kids! Come to the Teddy Bear Clinic This Saturday!

Parents, don’t forget to pack up your children and their teddy bears and join us for a fun-filled day this Saturday, September 29 at the Children’s Medical Center Teddy Bear Clinic! This interactive health and safety fair will take place from 10 am to 3 pm in the Albert Sherman Center at the Medical School. Parking and admission are completely free! Children will have the opportunity to tour a fire truck and a police cruiser, have their faces painted, enter a raffle for a free bicycle and so much more – all while learning about their bodies, what to expect at a hospital visit, and tips for staying safe at home. Don’t miss the fun!

Race Car Drivers Visit Young Patients; Wish Speedy Recoveries

Two-year-old James Landry Jr. checks out a race car at the Medical Center. (Photo courtesy of the Telegram & Gazette)

Children’s Medical Center patients and their families recently were treated to a visit by race car drivers from the New England Race Car Association. Children were invited to meet the race car drivers, including Formula Vee class driver Bryan Rogers; put on a helmet; sit in the driver’s seat; and participate in crafts and driving games. Check out more fun photos from the event in the Telegram & Gazette. The New England Race Car Association’s Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Foundation supports hands-on education and safety programs, recognizes excellence in automotive engineering education, and promotes the SCCA’s heritage and club history.

Medical Group and Medical School Welcome Duchenne Program

The Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Program recently opened on the first floor of the Ambulatory Care Center on the University Campus with a goal of improving outcomes and advancing research for children and adults with DMD. DMD is a genetic muscular disorder that primarily presents in young boys and affects many of the body’s functioning systems, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to care. The program, which is a unique collaboration between the Medical School, Medical Group and our Children’s Medical Center, is directed by neurologist Brenda Wong, MD, who has 20 years of experience in this field. Learn more.

‘Miracle’ Micro-preemie Born in Our NICU Defies All Odds

Miracle baby Daniel Gagnon (Photo courtesy of the Telegram & Gazette).

When Ashley Gagnon began experiencing blurry vision, loss of smell and fainting spells at 20 weeks pregnant, she became very concerned. She enlisted the help of Heidi Leftwich, DO, ob/gyn, maternal and fetal medicine, at our Medical Center who quickly discovered that Ashley’s baby had stopped growing at 19 weeks gestation and diagnosed Ashely with pre-eclampsia, which can be fatal to both mom and baby. When the baby went into distress at 27 weeks, Dr. Leftwich, along with our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team successfully delivered a 14-ounce, 10.8-inch “miracle” baby boy, Daniel, the second smallest micro-preemie born in our NICU. Read about Daniel’s story of survival in today’s Telegram & Gazette.