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Hank G.

Hank was born about 1 month early another hospital.  When he was born, the doctors quickly realized something was wrong.  After several tests, they realized then that his esophagus was not connected to his stomach and he had several other problems with his digestive system.  He was transferred to Vanderbilt within 2 hours of his birth to the NICU. He had 2 surgeries to correct problems with his digestive system on his first day of life.  He stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks while he healed and began learning to eat a little even though he would come home with a feeding tube.  He had 2 more surgeries at 3 months and 7 months old.  He also had surgery on his right hand and thumb when he was 4 because he was born with a slightly underdeveloped right arm and hand. The surgeons, specialists, nurses, etc at Vanderbilt were part of our family throughout this first year of his life.  I was an employee at Vanderbilt when he was born and never realized what a gift we had until I was on the other side as the new mother of a patient.  We will be forever grateful to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  Hank is in Kindergarten this year (CRAZY!!). He was on swim team over the summer and is currently playing baseball and tennis. He is growing and changing every day and even though some parents don’t want their children to “grow up”… I am grateful for the gift of each day with him and the new, fun, and happy experiences as I watch him grow!