The Campaign for Rady Children's: Patient Stories

Kassidy: Care

Donna Brewer and her husband, Kevin, will never forget August 4, 2008, the day when their spirited daughter, Kassidy, collapsed and stopped breathing. A CT scan revealed a massive hemorrhage in the back of her brain, caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal mass of blood vessels. AVMs impede normal blood flow to brain tissues.

Kassidy was in a coma for several months at Rady Children's and underwent numerous surgeries, including eight on her brain. She suffered a stroke and had weeks of tremors that violently shook her body. She had to have countless hours of physical, occupational and speech therapy to relearn just about everything. Thanks to the lifesaving care, Kassidy has returned to her life and recently earned her second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

Ian: Lifesaving Technology


On Dec. 14, 2010, Tammy Quinones was driving to work when she received a call from her son's school. There had been an accident. Her son, Ian, was involved. When Ian was admitted to Rady Children's, he was in full cardiac arrest and getting CPR by the critical care support team. He was then put into a drug-induced coma and placed on a high-tech therapy to stabilize his heart.

A Rady Children's cardiologist discovered that Ian had a rare heart condition – Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome – that caused the cardiac arrest. Once Ian was stable enough, an advanced procedure (radiofrequency catheter ablation) was performed to destroy several dangerous extra pathways on his heart's left side. The condition was cured, and Ian is grateful to be alive.

Zara: Discovery


In February 2009, Colette Schenker received devastating news: her little girl, Zara, had cancer. Diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, Zara spent the next seven months receiving chemotherapy as part of a clinical trial and handled the side effects like a trouper. Despite treatment after treatment, the spirited toddler would sing, dance and make everyone smile. The doctors were amazed.

About a month after leaving Rady Children's, Zara celebrated her third birthday with no signs of the disease. Today, Zara remains cancer-free and is a happy and fearless little girl. 


Watch Kassidy’s story on “Everyday Health,” a national television show.

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