Every year in October I look back on one of the toughest times I’ve experienced: the day my daughter Madison was flown to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with encephalitis that threatened to take her life.
Every year I think of the doctors at Doernbecher and the amazing things they did for Madison and my family in 2007. It was an incredibly difficult time for my husband and me – leaving our other three daughters at home for the first time as we accompanied our nine-year-old in a helicopter from Grants Pass to Portland. During this flight – that seemed to last a lifetime – Madison was nonresponsive; we felt helpless.
I am particularly thankful for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. I am grateful for Dr. Dana Braner, who all but treated Madison as if she was his own daughter – even went in to surgery with her to make sure she would be okay. I give thanks for the life-saving surgery that Dr. Nate Selden performed to put a shunt in Madison’s brain. And I never forget Drs. Kenneth Tegtmeyer and Miles Ellenby and the team of dedicated nurses at Doernbecher who took care of not just Madison, but my husband and me. They worked so hard and did everything possible, even when it looked like there wasn’t much hope.
And I always think of my beautiful daughter, and how thankful I am that she’s healthy and happy years later. She still goes to physical therapy to recover the muscle mass she lost during those days in the hospital, but she continues to improve every day. She was elected to serve in her student government and named Student of the Month in her sixth grade class!
I encourage you to think of the many children in our region who are touched by Doernbecher every year. Please consider making a gift to help make these miracles possible.
Susy Beck, mother of Madison
Grants Pass, OR