Three days after my son Hayden was born, the hospital called and asked us to come back in for some blood work. They had found something abnormal in his newborn screening exam and wanted to run some follow up tests. When it was confirmed that he had a metabolic disorder called isovaleric acidemia (IVA), we were referred to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
If you met Hayden today, you’d see a normal, happy, curious two-year-old, even though he hasn’t had a typical childhood so far. He can’t digest or process protein properly, so he required medical formula as a baby and now eats medical food. He also has to go to Doernbecher regularly for bloodwork and to make sure he’s meeting all of his physical and developmental milestones. You can imagine how hard it is for a toddler to get his blood drawn every 3 months!
But that’s the great thing about the people at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital – they understand kids and they do everything they can to make our visits smooth and easier for Hayden. They are so patient with him – they never get frustrated when he cries and doesn’t want to be weighed. They take him for rides in the little red wagons, blow bubbles for him and almost always give him some sort of toy or stuffed animal to take home.
Doernbecher offers the best pediatric care in our region, and it has made a huge difference in our lives. Hayden’s disorder is extremely rare, so we’re very lucky they have metabolic specialists to take care of him, right here in Portland! I don’t know what we would do without the doctors, nurses and care providers at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Please make a gift today to help them continue to serve children like Hayden. Having a sick child can be very difficult, but the people at Doernbecher help us every step of the way.
Belinda Dickey, mother of Hayden