"The doctors told us he probably wouldn't live out the day," Gina Davis recalled of the conversation her family had after the birth of Ahmad Davis (pictured to the right with nurse Jamie Herling). "He weighed less than a pound when he was born, and the doctors said if he did live, he would be a vegetable."
Ahmad has fooled the doctors at Loyola Medical Center where he was born. At the Children's Healthcare Center, the nurses have "adopted" Ahmad and watched joyfully as he has put on weight over the past year, and started hitting the maturation benchmarks toddlers should reach.
Ahmad and his grandmother, Gina, were featured in a September story by Tribune columnist John Kass, who toured the Center for Children and met Gina and Ahmad.
Before John Kass arrived, we asked Mrs. Davis about her experience with the CHC.
"I love it," she said, explaining that she has dropped in unexpectedly several times to gauge the care Ahmad was receiving.
"It was a transition for me too. I was a little nervous, having 24-hour care for him. But getting to know them and getting a rapport made me comfortable," she said. She noted that Ahmad has developed a special rapport with Nurse Karen Krause.
"Karen—she's a sweetheart. She's his second mom. He knows when she's around. He can hear her or he can smell her. He knows," said Mrs. Davis, who along with her mother, Betty Davis, leave their Bellwood home nearly daily to visit Ahmad.
To read the entire Chicago Tribune article featuring Ahmad, click here.
Before her little sister ever arrived at the Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center (CHC), Conora Shaw gave the place the “white glove” inspection.
And we passed with flying colors. Her glove was white. Spotless.
“It was very, very clean. No built-up dust in the corners,” said Conora, the guardian and older sister of Eugenia Cathery. “I watched the nurses, how they took care of those babies in the nursery. They were so attentive; they knew the personalities of those children and allowed them to be themselves.”
Now 14 and a high school freshman at William B. Ogden International School in the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago, Eugenia began to have problems as a 6th grader when her legs began to bow, Conora said.
“Before the surgery, the kids at school had made fun of her, used to tease her,” Conora recalled.
So Conora took her little sister to have surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children, where doctors operated to fix Eugenia’s legs. But after the surgery, Eugenia needed care that the hospital could no longer provide, so the social worker there recommended the Children’s Healthcare Center. That’s when Conora swooped in for her inspection. And thankfully, we passed muster.
After the surgery, Eugenia could put no weight on her legs for more than two months, but with the help of our nurses and our special equipment at CHC, Eugenia was able to keep the weight off her lower legs while they healed.
Nurse Kathy Gazer described the treatment Eugenia received to stabilize her legs while they healed: “External fixators, or a form of skeletal traction, (were attached). She had bars on the outside of her lower legs with thick pins that went into the bone to hold the bone in place. She now can walk without difficulty and she says she can skip, too.”
Conora singled out CHC nurse Mildred Rodriguez for the care she gave to Eugenia.
“She was awesome. There was so much wrong with her, Mildred knew just exactly how to take care of Eugenia. And then they (CHC) provided the transportation for her to go to the hospital and to visit her doctor. You have an excellent program,” Conora said.
Now Eugenia is back in school and thriving, Conora said.
“Since her surgery, she has gained a lot more confidence, and her grades are improving,” Conora said. “She went in as a little girl and came out a young lady.”
Family Satisfaction Results
It's a good place. I know my daughter is fine here. She is growing and I can see the change.
- Rosa's Mom
We recommend this place.
- Maria's Dad
He gets great care here. They understand my situation and are very empathetic. I have talked to the staff, and many have actually walked in my shoes.
- Greg's Mom
She was always ready when I came. They have this classroom set up, and she has come back to school. It was like she never left.
- Annie's teacher