Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Celebrates 30th Birthday and Raises $3.1 Million at Annual Memorial Hermann Circle of Life Gala
Style Magazine Newswire | 5/4/2017, 4:55 p.m.
HOUSTON (May 4, 2017) – Memorial Hermann Foundation celebrated the 30th anniversary of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital at its annual Circle of Life Gala on Saturday, April 29. The festive birthday “CELEBRATION”-themed event was held at the Hilton Americas-Houston and chaired by Memorial Hermann System Board members Diane and Bill Campbell and Elizabeth and Will Galtney. With more than 1,600 guests in attendance including KHOU’s Len Cannon as emcee, the gala raised $3.1 million to benefit Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s specialty programs and services.
“As I celebrate my first Circle of Life Gala as President and CEO, I am humbled to honor the impact our physicians and staff have had on our pediatric patients over the past 30 years,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System. “Tonight, we say thank you to those caregivers, as well as those who give so generously to support our mission to provide high-quality and safe care to children in Southeast Texas.”
The event reflected on three decades of accomplishments at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Dr. Chu was joined onstage by Anne E. Neeson, the recently named Executive Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Foundation, and the event chairs to introduce a touching video honoring former pediatric patients.
Guests were brought to tears as the video shared the struggles and successes of former patients – Emily and Caitlin Copeland, Dominic Larkin and Faith Hagler – and the determined physicians who gave each story its happy ending:
It was February 2016 when 18-month-old Dominic Larkin of The Woodlands crawled into the family hot tub and was found lying on his back in the water, not moving or breathing. While his mother was able to perform CPR successfully, within days of being admitted to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, his condition deteriorated rapidly into respiratory failure. Dr. Matthew Harting, pediatric surgeon at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and assistant professor in the department of pediatric surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, treated Dominic with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which bypasses the lungs, enabling the body to rest and the lungs to heal. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is one of only two Houston hospitals offering pediatric ECMO. After weeks of lying motionless, Dominic transitioned successfully into specialized therapy in May 2016.
In 2011 Colette Hagler was pregnant with her daughter Faith. During a routine sonogram, doctors diagnosed the baby with spina bifida, a serious condition in which the vertebrae do not properly develop possibly leading to physical and mental impairments. While treatment to repair the spine is traditionally performed after birth, Colette traveled to Houston from Dallas to The Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, where Faith was the first in Texas to undergo in utero surgery for spina bifida. Her surgery was performed by Dr. KuoJen Tsao, co-director of The Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and distinguished professor in pediatric surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, and Dr. Stephen Fletcher, pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and associate professor in the department of pediatric surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Today, Faith is an active and happy child, returning regularly to Houston for routine checkups.