Methodist Healthcare System | Keeping Well | Winter 2019

Spurs Coyote and UTSA Roadrunner with crowd HAZEL, THE FIRST certified facility dog in Central and South Texas, recently celebrated her third birthday, and staff at Methodist Children’s Hospital surprised her with an amazing birthday gift—a new facility dog to become part of her pack! Methodist Children’s Hospital welcomed Hazel to the staff more than a year ago. A beautiful golden retriever, Hazel has used her animal magnetism to make hospital care easier for patients in the pediatric oncology and pediatric intensive care units. Now with the addition of Jaime, a handsome goldendoodle who is also a certified facility dog, more patients will be able to benefit from the healing touch that only a wet nose and wagging tail can provide. Unlike a therapy dog, a facility dog must undergo more extensive training to handle a wider variety of situations such as large crowds and hospital noises. “The priority of our certified facility dogs is to put young patients and their families at ease,” said Caitlin Pearce, director of Child Life. “They are there to help young patients cope with their uncomfortable procedures, to encourage them to take their medicines, to help kids get out of bed to walk Mom Shares Story of Baby’s Survival At the NICU reunion, Courtney Stensrud took the opportunity to show off her daughter, Lyla, while also sharing her story of survival to give other families hope. Lyla, now 4, may be the most premature baby in the world ever to survive. Lyla was delivered at Methodist Hospital on July 11, 2014, at 21 weeks instead of the normal 40-week gestation period. Doctors believed there was no hope. "There wasn't really anything to offer because nowhere in the world do we offer resuscitation for babies this small and this pre- term," said MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist Kaashif Ahmad, M.D. Methodist Children's Hospital is where Dr. Ahmad gave Lyla, weigh- ing just 14 ounces, a fighting chance. "We put that super tiny breathing tube down and it fit," he said. "If it had not fit, we wouldn't have been able to resuscitate her. But she was just big enough." The vigorous resuscitation worked, and Lyla was in the hospital for 126 days making her recovery. Lyla went home just three days be- fore her due date. "I want other parents to know that survival is possible,” said Sten- srud. “I was at the reunion, and I was able to say that four years later, I have my child. If it had been at any other hospital, I could say without a doubt that she probably would not be here today.” NICU REUNION HONORS SUPERHEROES M e t h o d i s t H e a l t h c a r e HAZEL, THE FIRST CERTIFIED FACILITY DOG IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH TEXAS, ADDS A NEW DOG TO HER PACK AT METHODIST CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL after surgeries, and to keep them company when their parents are gone.” Pearce said they knew they had something special af- ter Hazel’s first patient interaction with an autistic child who would not stop screaming. When Hazel arrived, she got on his bed, put her head in his lap, and the child im- mediately calmed down. Staff said the child transformed completely. Nurses have also witnessed the physical ef- fect Hazel has had on patients, such as the stabilization of vitals as soon as she enters the room. SUPERHEROES OF EVERY age, size and costume descended on Methodist Children’s Hospital for the annual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Reunion in October with more than 1,000 former NICU babies and their families in attendance. The superheroes’ theme was especially appropriate since NICU babies are superheroes. “We gathered to celebrate the lives of all the children who have graduated from the NICU and have been with us for many weeks and to celebrate their parents’ lives as well,” said Lori Townsend, Chief Nursing Officer at Methodist Chil- dren’s Hospital. “We’re also celebrating the physicians, nurses and care teams that helped them reach this milestone.” Event organizers provided superhero capes for all former NICU ba- bies to wear, and it was a full afternoon of family fun with a variety of games and activities, a petting zoo, face painting, trick-or-treating and refreshments. Alexander Kenton, M.D. , Medical Director of the Methodist Children’s Hospital NICU and MEDNAX–affiliated neonatologist, said that the reunion was a time to celebrate the wins and reconnect with the families. “We are proud to be part of this organization which helps provide all the resources, including nurses and equipment, that allow our team to take care of these really special, critically ill infants and to get them where they are today,” he said. Dan Miller, CEO of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, appreciated the participation of the families that resulted in an outstanding turn-out for the event. “We thank all the NICU families for trusting us with their most prized possessions for the last twenty years,” he said. W I N T E R 2 0 1 9 3 K E E P I N G W E L L