Solana Finds Health and a Future of Possibilities

Solana Finds Health and a Future of Possibilities

Solana was born in Argentina in 2006 with a diagnosis of Neutropenia, which is an abnormally low concentration of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood. As a result, Solana was at great risk of infection on a daily basis. This prevented her from any kind of “typical” childhood or routine interaction with other children.

The seriousness of Solana’s condition played out with her being hospitalized in excess of 50 times during her first four years of life. She underwent multiple transfusions of plasma and red and white blood cells as well as endured numerous surgeries on her ears, throat, gallbladder and intestines.

Finding Help in South Florida

Desperately seeking appropriate medication and healthcare that Argentina was simply unable to provide, Solana and her family came to the United States when she was six years old. Initially, the family lived at the Ronald McDonald House in Miami. Healthcare professionals endeavored to locate resources and treat Solana who continued to experience multiple infections requiring hospitalization.

After a year in Miami, the family relocated to the Ronald McDonald House on the grounds of Broward Health. It was at this time that Solana and her family came to Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC) for both medical care and case management. This was to be the beginning of her incredible journey to better health.

CDTC physicians and social workers were challenged by both determining effective treatment for Solana’s medical condition and the lack of available resources for the family.

Her CDTC teamworked diligently to coordinate services. They made multiple referrals to specialists and linkages to various social service agencies for Solana and her family.

Solana underwent surgery at the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital whereby a patch was placed on her tympanic membrane. The patch covered a rupture that had happened due to reoccurring ear infections. This immediately decreased infections allowing her hearing to improve.

As Solana improved, the social work staff at CDTC helped relocate the family from the Ronald McDonald House into an independent shelter. Buoyed by her upgraded health condition and positive outlook, the family gradually secured a more stable living situation into their own apartment. The family also purchased a vehicle to transport Solana to various medical appointments since public transportation can still put her at risk for infection.

Solana Starts a New Life

Solana’s story is truly about her level of endurance and perseverance throughout this entire medical ordeal. She’s now on an effective medication regimen. Despite frequent hospitalizations, surgeries, incapacitation and isolation, she’s now able to maintain honor roll status at school. While she is only entering the seventh grade, Solana has already expressed a desire to become a physician so she can help others who are facing struggles similar to hers.

She enjoys arts and crafts, music and has recently become involved in field hockey. Solana maintains a positive outlook and dreams of a bright future. The challenges that Solana has faced have shaped her into a very mature, loving, caring and friendly young lady with a noble heart.

Mom says “she is very special” and we all agree!

Caitlan’s Accomplishments Makes Us Proud

Caitlan’s Accomplishments Makes Us Proud

Caitlan Surgeon was born in 1998. Life was not easy for her family. Her young mother, Josephine, raised Caitlan on her own with a little support from Caitlan’s father. The duo overcame challenges with their health as well as housing, immigration, employment and times of poverty.

CDTC was the source of Caitlan’s primary medical care throughout her early childhood and youth, where she regularly saw Dr. Ana Hernandez. Her CDTC team did more than just treat cold and bruises; they saw her through difficult health issues related to her kidneys. Now almost 20-years-old, Caitlan continues to receive medical care at the Center when she is home from college and manages her own health needs. Continue reading

Ebony prepares for a future on her own.

Ebony prepares for a future on her own.

18-year-old Ebony is no stranger to struggle. A CDTC patient since 1999, she’s been part of our family for nearly all her life. She started the TAFT program two months ago. And, as she begins her journey into adulthood, her health and medical issues are just one small part of her concerns and goals. Continue reading

CDTC April Hero of the Month

CDTC April Hero of the Month

Meet Pierce

Pierce is an adorable ex-preemie born seven weeks early.

His parents brought him to Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center’s Early Steps Program with developmental and communication concerns when he was 15 months old.
The Multidisciplinary team concurred and quickly went to work on a therapeutic plan to help him and his family.

Pierce was shy and withdrawn with his therapists until last year.

As a 2-year-old diagnosed with Autism, he had difficulty engaging with them and wasn’t even interested in playing. There were many sessions where they spent the entire time just trying to comfort Pierce and make him feel at ease.

PierceThen, by chance, they discovered Pierce’s love of music and dancing.

So, they did what came naturally and joined in doing silly dances with him. That little connection was all it took. Pierce started to make steady gains in all areas of his therapy. He began to play games, happily participated in activities with others and found his voice.

“We do fist bumps, say ‘I love you!’, and ‘see you later alligator… after while crocodile’,” shares his developmental therapist.

The once quiet, withdrawn Pierce has transformed into the happy, dancing, playful, talkative Pierce that we know today. While there are still challenges ahead, we are all happy and excited to know that he will continue to make progress and face those challenges with that smile we all love to see.

Now at age 3, Pierce has been transitioned from the Early Steps program and starts with the Broward County school system this month.


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Our Hero, Tyler

Our Hero, Tyler

A Bundle of Energy

At first glance, 5-year-old Tyler is just another energetic, outgoing little boy. Walking into CDTC for his appointment, he’s all smiles and excited to have gotten out of school early to have his picture taken. Meeting with his Care Coordinator Sasha in the hallway, he’s quick to point out the details he remembers from their last meeting months ago. What snacks she offered; what he had to drink; what Mom asked for. Not a single detail escapes his impressively, sharp mind.

It’s hard to believe the challenges that same little boy faced beginning before he was even born. Continue reading