An Apple A Day

By Michelle

Tell us your story.

My experience with Children's began in 1977. I had just turned five, and after visiting a new family doctor, it was discovered I had an atrial-septal defect (a fairly common heart defect). I arrived at Children's later in that year, and surgery was scheduled. I must admit I have few memories of going into surgery, and in later years, in conversations with my parents, learned how stressful and anxious they were throughout this experience. They tell me how wonderful the staff truly was, and how they worked to lessen some of that stress. I do, however, have several memories of my stay in the hospital (and now that I reflect, I realize none of them include fear)-big-wheels in the hall (unfortunately, I could not ride them as I as attached to a ventilator), my favorite nurse who arrived nightly with my favorite flavor of popsicle (banana, and I still search for this flavor when in the grocery store), and a doctor who was simply amazing, Dr. Stamm. I even had a visit from a friend of Ronald McDonald's, the Hamburgular, during my stay.

How am I doing now? My defect was fully corrected, and I now live a full life doing many of the outdoor activities the Puget Sound has to offer. I must share that I, too, work with children, and am grateful to be doing the work that I am doing.

What does Children's mean to you, your child and your family?

It always amazes me how much of an imprint Children's has left on my life as well as my family's. Several years ago, my grandmother passed away and in going through her personal things, we found she had kept several stories in her local paper talking about my homecoming as well as donated yearly since my surgery to Children's. A favorite story of my mother's relating to the hospital was returning home with me, and deciding to send a thank you to Dr. Stamm and his staff. How best to say thank you than sending a box of Washington apples with a note expressing our family's gratitude and signing it with "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!". Thank you to all those who work at Children's, and may you forever feel our deepest appreciation and gratitude.