Erlanger's Miracle Children kickoff the holiday seasonErlanger Heath System celebrated the kickoff of their holiday season by holding a parade and recognizing nine Miracle Children to be part of the face of Erlanger for 2013 on Tuesday.
• Ashley Snider, 4, visual impairment, speech and motor delay, Chattanooga
• Garrett Saylors, 10, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Cohutta, Ga.
• Greer Cofield, 5, kicked in face by horse, Cartersville, Ga.
• Hilario Sanchez, 8 months, pertussis, Dalton, Ga.
• Kyra McGowan, 2, prematurity at 27 weeks gestation -- 1 pound, 9 ounces at birth, Signal Mountain.
• Mackenzie Snyder, 10 months, respiratory depression, Chattanooga
• Rachel Price, 17, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, Sale Creek
• Sara Carr, 18, diffuse large cell lymphoma, Chattanooga
• Wynn Eady, 1, umbilical cord around neck at delivery/renal hepatic failure, Chattanooga
A year ago, Wynn Eady was in T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger for kidney failure treatment.
Tuesday, Wynn,1, was back at the hospital, as one of nine patients chosen as 2012 Miracle Kids.
Chosen by hospital staff, the Miracle Kids become ambassadors and fundraisers for Children's Hospital throughout the year, according to Ali Cobb, director of fundraising.
The Miracle Kids are invited to all Children's Hospital events to share their stories and show donors and the community how contributions are used, Cobb said.
This year, nine Miracle Kids were chosen, though the hospital did not set a number, Rebecca Brinkley, Children's Miracle Network Hospital Coordinator said.
Being a Miracle Kid means these young patients are on the road to recovery, something that may not have seemed possible a year ago.
"Living at a hospital with a sick child is like nothing I can explain," said Wynn's mom, Anna Eady. "Every single developmental milestone she hits is that more precious."
Nicknamed "Wonder Wynn" by her family, Wynn still has problems with her kidneys, though she is no longer in failure, Eady said. The family is excited to be able to give back to Children's Hospital, having already raised $10,000 for the hospital at Wynn's birthday party in September.
Garrett Saylors' family also is thankful for the opportunity to be able to give back to the hospital.
"It was really fun to be able to represent T.C. Thompson because of what they've done for me," Garrett said.
On June 8, Garrett, 10, collapsed in the bathroom of his family's home in Cohutta, Ga., after telling his mom, Angel Saylors, he felt like he was going to be sick.
"It went from the child was healthy and fine to he collapses," Angel Saylors said. "It was that quick."
Garrett has acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that typically occurs after an infection. The condition can affect cognitive function.
Angel Saylors calls her son one of the "walking wounded." Watching him dart around gathering candy during the present parade through Erlanger's halls, it is hard to tell that about six months ago, he couldn't walk.
Garrett's family will be back at Children's Hospital on Dec. 28 to see how much of Garrett's brain has healed. He has a 90 percent chance of recovery. His parents still worry about that 10 percent, however, said Scott Saylors, Garrett's dad.
"The day before he told us he had a headache and his legs hurt. We thought it was just from running around or sinuses," Scott Saylors said.
The family said they are happy to be chosen to represent the hospital that treated them like family during Garrett's two-week stay.
"Everything we needed, the Ronald McDonald House provided," Scott Saylors said. "We could worry about what we needed to worry about, which was our child."
Contact staff writer Rachel Bunn at email@example.com or 423-757-6592.
Rachel Bunn is originally from Ellijay, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in magazines and history. While at UGA, she wrote for the student magazine UGAzine, served as news editor for the student newspaper, The Red & Black, and spent a semester studying British history at Oxford University in Oxford, England. She has previously worked at The Rockdale Citizen in Conyers, Ga., and The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the ...