DCH News

Driscoll patient, his mother consider transplant team family

April 23, 2012
Ryan Sepulveda, 17, has had two kidney transplants, the most recent in June 2011 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Ryan Sepulveda, 17, has had two kidney transplants, the most recent in June 2011 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Sepulvedas look forward to hospital's annual Transplant Reunion April 28

CORPUS CHRISTI - A gleam comes to Ryan Sepulveda's eyes and a smile to his face when he recalls a three-legged race he ran with Driscoll Children's Hospital physician Samhar Al-Akash, MD at the hospital's Transplant Reunion a couple of years ago.

"I fell down and he had to carry me," Ryan, 17, said as he began laughing. "It was fun. I want to do it again this year."

Ryan is referring to Driscoll's Transplant Reunion that will be held April 28 at West Guth Park - his third to attend. The annual event, a celebration for Driscoll's 55 kidney transplant patients and their families, will include moon bounces, games of all sorts, prizes and food. Most importantly, it will be a chance for the patients and families to visit, share their experiences and have fun. Between 150-175 people are expected to attend.

"This is our way of saying 'thank you' to the families for their trust and for sharing their kids with us not only in sickness but also in health," said Dr. Al-Akash, head of nephrology and medical director of Driscoll's Kidney Center.

Ryan's kidney transplant at Driscoll in June 2011 was his second. He had been sick for a year, said his mother, Amy Sepulveda, because the kidney he received 12 years ago at a hospital in Galveston was failing.

"His body was rejecting the first kidney. We were lucky it lasted 12 years."

Sepulveda said she was relieved when Driscoll began performing kidney transplants in 2007, not least because her family no longer had to travel to Galveston for Ryan's treatment. Her appreciation for Driscoll's transplant team is deep and emotional.

"The whole team is awesome, from the girls at the front desk to the social workers and the doctors," Sepulveda said, her eyes welling up. "They make you feel like family. Dr. Al-Akash cared about Ryan like he was his own child. Oh my God, I can't say anything better...we couldn't do without this hospital."

Ryan, a high school sophomore, said he feels fine these days. He hopes to become a catcher in major league baseball. Asked if he's been scared during the surgeries he's endured, including gall bladder removal by Driscoll pediatric surgeon Stephen Almond, MD, he put on a carefree face.

"I wasn't scared because of the way (the doctors) talked to me. They told me everything was going to be OK. I believed them."

Dr. Al-Akash is looking forward to the April 28 Transplant Reunion and, as he said, "... blending together as humans, friends and families, not patients and doctors. The reunion celebrates these kids and their families and reminds us what is important in life."

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Transplant Reunion
When: Noon Saturday, April 28
Where: West Guth Park, 9725 Up River Rd.
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Driscoll's Teddy Bear Hospital is a chance for patients to be the doctors

April 08, 2014
WHAT: Patients will be the doctors tomorrow during a Teddy Bear Hospital organized by the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. The event allows children to become more familiar with the medical equipment and procedures involved in their treatment. They'll choose their teddy bear, give it a name and, with the help of Child Life Specialists and other Driscoll staff, measure its height and weight, place an IV and draw labs, give it an X-ray, attach an anesthesia mask for surgery and put an arm or leg in a cast. The Teddy Bear Hospital and the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital are made possible by a $1 million donation from Stripes convenience stores.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

April is Child Safety Month

April 01, 2014
Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program team
Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program team
CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age one through 12 years old. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data, in 2010 almost an average of two children were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced by half if the correct child safety seat had been used. Here are some great tips from Driscoll Children's Hospital and Kohl's Cares to help protect your child while in the car.

Car seat recommendations for children:

  • Select a car seat based on your child's age and size.

  • Choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.

  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer's instructions; read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.

  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements.

  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.


Birth - 12 months

  • Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 seats usually have higher weight limits, allowing children to stay rear-facing longer.


1 - 3 years

  • Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. Your child should remain rear-facing until he or she reaches the maximum height and weight allowed for the seat.


4 - 7 years

  • Your child should stay in a forward-facing seat with harness until he or she reaches the maximum height and weight limit allowed for the seat. Once the child has outgrown the harness, the child is now ready for a booster seat.


8 - 12 years

  • Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit into a seat belt properly. The law in Texas requires all children younger than 8 years old, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches, to be properly restrained in a child safety seat.


Kohl's Keep Your Kids Safe, Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program, in partnership with Kohl's Cares, offers free car seat inspections. To make an appointment and have your car seat checked to ensure the safety of your child, call (361) 694-6700. http://www.keepyourkidssafe-kck.com/

Driscoll patients go to Spurs game courtesy of generous donors

March 28, 2014
WHAT: Five Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parents or guardians will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for San Antonio to see a Spurs game as part of a live auction package purchased at this year's Fiesta de los Niños. Steve and Jessica Johnson of JSJ Services, Inc. have purchased this item at Fiesta for the last six years, donating a total of $152,250 to Driscoll Children's Hospital.

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday, March 29

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll patients to be treated to Child Life Month celebration

March 10, 2014
March is Child Life Month
March is Child Life Month
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate Child Life Month with a superhero-themed party for in-house patients tomorrow. The sixth annual event is designed to make hospitalization a little more pleasant for children by providing a distraction from their illness and an opportunity for socialization, self-expression and normalization.

"Child Life professionals strive to promote coping and reduce anxiety of children and their families. They embrace the power of play to teach children about their diagnosis, prepare for and support during painful procedures," said Michelle Goodman, director of the fourth floor and the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll.

Driscoll Children's Hospital began a Child Life program in 1985. Today, Driscoll has nine Child Life Specialists who provide service to the Emergency Room, in-patient units 4T, 6T and 7T, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Renal Dialysis, Driscoll's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Day Surgery and Radiology.

Activities at the celebration will include face painting, making their own superhero masks and capes, superhero bowling and dart board, and photo booth. Employees from Stripes convenience stores will provide a carnival-style prize wheel and store coupons.

  • What: Child Life Month Superhero Celebration for Driscoll patients

  • When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.


12th annual Radiothon will broadcast live from Driscoll Children's Hospital

March 05, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Friday, March 7, K-99 (KRYS 99.1 FM) will team up with Driscoll Children's Hospital for the 12th annual Radiothon. The one-day event will be broadcasted live from the main lobby at Driscoll Children's Hospital beginning at 6 a.m.

Listeners can tune in to hear patients, parents, physicians and staff share inspirational stories of hope and healing. Over the past decade, K-99 listeners have helped raise more than $500,000 to benefit the patients and services provided at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

For more information or to donate, contact Driscoll's Development Department at (361) 694-6401.

  • What: 12th annual K-99 Radiothon benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital

  • When: 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday, March 7

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Valdez brings neurology expertise to Driscoll

February 26, 2014
Valdez
Valdez
CORPUS CHRISTI - Marcos Valdez, MD, has joined Children's Physician Services of South Texas at Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatric neurologist. Dr. Valdez was previously in private practice in McAllen, Texas for 10 years. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Texas A&M College of Medicine in 1999 and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Texas Children's Hospital - Baylor College of Medicine in 2003. Dr. Valdez earned his medical degree in 1987 at Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Medical School in Mexico. He is certified in neurology with a special qualification in child neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Páez receives certification in pediatric endocrinology

February 17, 2014
Paez
Paez
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ana Maria Páez, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently passed an exam administered by the American Board of Pediatrics and is certified in pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Páez completed a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she performed her pediatric residency from 2007 to 2010. She joined Driscoll in 2013.

Booth receives certification in child abuse pediatrics

February 17, 2014
Booth
Booth
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ada Booth, MD, child abuse pediatrician with Driscoll Children's Hospital's Child Abuse Resource Evaluation (CARE) Team, recently passed an exam administered by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and is certified in child abuse pediatrics. Dr. Booth graduated from a child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio in 2011. She is also certified by the ABP in pediatrics.

Driscoll pediatric cardiologist recognized as distinguished alumnus at Louisiana Tech University

February 17, 2014
Phillips
Phillips
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll pediatric cardiologist Brandon Lane Phillips, MD, FAAP, FACC, was recently recognized by The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University as one of 14 of their 2014 Distinguished Alumni. Chosen alumni have distinguished themselves during their careers and in service to the university.

Dr. Phillips joined Driscoll in 2012 and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. In 2010, Dr. Phillips completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His clinical interests include non-invasive imaging, outpatient cardiology and adult congenital cardiology.

Mayoral proclamation will be read at Driscoll Children's Hospital for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness

February 13, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - The week of Feb. 10-14 is recognized in the US as Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week (see www.tchin.org/aware/). In an effort to bring awareness to the community, Driscoll Children's Hospital has arranged for Corpus Christi Mayor Pro Tem Chad Magill to proclaim Feb. 14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. The proclamation will be read at Driscoll Children's Hospital in the Auditorium at 3 p.m. during a CHD celebration for hospital staff.

What: Mayoral proclamation for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

When: 3 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital (Auditorium - 1st floor) 3533 S. Alameda Corpus Christi, TX 78411.