Children's Memorial Herman picks up more patients

June 22, 2009 2:24:46 PM PDT
Children's Memorial Herman Texas Medical Center is projected to be the busiest trauma center in the country, after picking up the slack from an Ike-slammed UTMB.We have a rare behind the scenes look at Children's Memorial Herman Texas Medical Center, and what it's like for youngsters having surgery.

Cristina and Jonathon Hill's three-year-old son is having brain surgery, the third in his young life.

"You'd sit him on the couch and that's where he'd sit, no emotion, no nothing," said Jonathon.

Three months after returning from Iraq, the family learned that Joshua and his brother Christopher have a genetic disease that causes tumors to grow in the brain that cause seizures. Jonathan has it too.

However, Joshua has a chance, as a pediatric neurosurgeon is carefully removing the growths.

"I think he has a good chance of being seizure-free," said Dr. Gretchen Von Allmen.

The family of Rachel Brandt's family waits, as the surgeon removes part of the seven-year-old's skull and part of a vertebrae to give her brain more room.

After the surgery is finally over, Rachel's family greets her.

"Scariest thing I ever had to do in my life. Much rather it would be me," said Rachel's father, Kevin.

Rachel herself decided to have the surgery.

"Sometimes she couldn't see at all, she'd go blind for a few minutes," said Rachel's mother, Kimberly.

Or her legs or face would go numb. She'd have migraines or seizures when she would play.

"She told us she wanted to be normal like the other kids, she wanted to play," said Kimberly.

A two-year-old with pneumonia is already being rolled out. They have to move the child out of recovery because they're so crowded they need that bed.

The families that fill the waiting room, one by one leave as the surgeries ended. Tomorrow, the waiting room at Children's Memorial Herman Texas Medical Center will be filled again with more families, counting on the people at this busy trauma center to save their loved ones.

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Christi Myers is ABC13's Healthcheck reporter

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