Skip to main content

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

Training Physicians for Empathy
8.8.14 — HealthLeaders Media

Improving Clinical Management of Stillbirth is an educational session sponsored by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity ... cont.

Remembering Daniel and the Legacy He Left Behind
8.5.14 — On the Pulse Blog

In my last post about “The Fault in Our Stars,” I made a comment about how most patients live, if not thrive after their ... cont.

Seattle Children's program prevents sports injuries
7.31.14 — KING 5 TV

ERs and urgent care facilities see all sorts of sports-related injuries, not only in the summer, but year-round. Seattle ... cont.