Stories - Your Impact - Children's Health

Cameron Goes Home

The minute my son Cameron was born, medical staff knew that something was wrong.

They worked urgently to get him breathing – and after 8 attempts they were finally able to place a breathing tube into his tiny body.

And from that moment onward, everything in our life became about supporting our son’s breathing and getting him home – whatever it took.

Cameron was eventually diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. After four months in the hospital, doctors made the decision to insert a tracheostomy tube – which was the first step in the long process of getting Cameron home.

I’m sharing our story today, because my husband and I are committed to raising awareness about rare diseases and sick children. And we are passionate about supporting Children’s Hospital.

As a supporter of Children’s Hospital, I want you to know just how important you are.

Your donations not only funded the emergency equipment that our baby relied on during those early days, but you also funded equipment like the portable ventilator and programs that allowed us to experience life outside the hospital.

Once you’ve read Cameron’s story – and seen what a profound difference your support makes – will you consider making a special gift today? You see, I know that the medical staff urgently needs new ventilators like the one that Cameron still relies on daily for breathing support, and I am doing everything I can to help.

Cameron spent the first 418 days of his life at the Children’s Hospital. Before we could go home, Cameron had to be medically stable, and my husband and I needed to be carefully trained in how to care for his complex needs. This takes time – and it can be really hard when you just want to take your baby home and start living your life!

That’s where donors like you came in. Here’s how you and donors like you made all the difference to our family:

You see, for the first eight months of Cameron’s life he was stuck within four feet of a hospital bed – that’s how long the ventilator tubing is.

I’ll never forget the day our Respiratory Therapist, Lynda, put Cameron on a portable ventilator. On that special day, I was able to carry him away from his hospital bed and walk around the ward. I got to push him in a stroller. And I even got to take him outside!

This might have seemed like the smallest thing for many people, but for our family this was the BIGGEST step imaginable.

Being in the hospital for so long is stressful, but the staff did all they could to brighten our day. They made us crafts with Cameron’s hands or foot prints, and there were always wonderful little photos waiting at his bedside for us. The amazing team at the Children’s Hospital loved Cameron as if he were their own child.

But by far the best day was when the hospital staff put Cameron on a portable ventilator and accompanied us to take him home for the afternoon – after 300 straight days in the hospital. The whole thing was amazing – Cameron got to see his room his backyard and meet his dogs for the first time.

I feel so lucky to have had such knowledgeable staff taking care of Cameron – especially during times when I wasn’t sure he was going to make it. I know that when Cameron needs them again in the future, he will be in the best hands possible.

You and other caring donors like you funded the portable ventilator that Cameron relies on to this day – a piece of technology that allowed us to bring our baby home and experience life outside of the hospital walls. You also funded all the little things that made that year bearable.

Our hospital needs eight new portable ventilators for children in the Pediatric Special Care Unit. They cost $15,000 each. Will you help?

I know first-hand that these ventilators will not only save lives but will help more children be able to go home, in the arms of their families, where they really belong – which will improve the quality of life for them and their families’!

Thank you again for all your past support of this wonderful hospital.

Best wishes,

Nicole Schaworski, grateful mom

P.S. Because of your generosity, children just like Cameron can now feel the sun and wind on their face – something that was just not possible before we got him on the portable ventilator. Your donation is changing the lives of children with complex medical needs. The more you and I help, the more these children can be the best version of themselves possible. Thank you again!