Skip to main content

Search
I Am Seattle Children's

Natalie Merlo: I Am at Home

|

Natalie Merlo

Natalie Merlo From Where I Stand

Freshman at Villanova, from Mercer Island, Washington

I feel at home at Seattle Children’s. I’ve been coming here since I was 4. When I was little, I thought every kid came here to check up once a year and was surprised when my friends said they had never even been to Children’s. They were really missing out: I got to leave school for a day and meet amazing doctors who just wanted to talk about me.

Early this summer I had surgery to move my midface and upper jaw forward. I wore a brace on my head all summer to help support my changing bones. The surgery made several amazing changes. The biggest one is my breathing. Before the surgery, I couldn’t breathe through my nose because my airways were foggy and blocked. Now, I sleep easier and breathing through my mouth is a thing of the past. My cheekbones were the other problem. They used to be sunken and unable to do their main function of protecting my eyes. Not having to worry about my eyes is great, especially as I head off to college.

My condition wasn’t as severe as some people’s. But it still affected my life daily. Little things like breathing different, looking different, eating different, they add up.

I love Children’s – my providers are like aunts and uncles, like family. They are always there for me. It is clear they genuinely care. They have so much passion for what they do and so much joy for helping kids out. I can’t think of anything I have that kind of passion for yet – but watching their passion makes me want to find my own.

I Am Seattle Children's: The People Behind the Care

Find more videos and stories of the providers, staff, supporters, patients, families, volunteers and friends who make up the Seattle Children's family.

Visit I Am Seattle Children's.

Published in Connection magazine, September 2013

Latest News

The Fault in “The Fault in Our Stars”
7.24.14 — On the Pulse Blog

I loved “The Fault in Our Stars.” Both the book and the movie. I read the book a few years ago during a flight. I cried so hard ... cont.

Doctor uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells
7.23.14 — FOX News

Dr. James Olson is a pediatric oncologist at Seattle Children’s, and the scientist who developed a compound using a protein ... cont.

Boy healing quickly after heart transplant
7.22.14 — The Columbian

In less than two weeks, Jack Conover went from being a 7-year-old in need of a heart transplant to a vibrant boy walking out of ... cont.