Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, February 2013 & Hero of the Year 2014
When Olivia was just days old, her mother knew something wasn’t quite right. The infant felt “squishy” when being held so she was rushed to the emergency room. Through many struggles and obstacles, Olivia was finally diagnosed with Osteogenesis imperfect, more commonly referred to as brittle bone disease. She first visited Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital when she was 2 years old. The hospital offers a trial infusion of medicine to help relieve Olivia’s pain, increase her mobility and decrease chances of fracture. First treated as an inpatient, Olivia bonded with Nutmeg the therapy dog and Lotsy Dotsy the resident clown. These “characters” are now a regular part of Olivia’s hospital family. Three-year-old Olivia has stolen te hearts of everyone at the facility with her bravery and intelligence.
“My mom said you can’t play rough with me because I break,” explains Olivia.
Olivia was honored as a Hero of the Month in February, 2013, and was recognized as the Hero of the Year for 2013 at a celebration hosted by Joe DiMaggio.
“It makes us feel good that everyone can recognize how special Olivia is,” says mom Michele. “Being honored as the Hero of the Year is very flattering.
“The Hero of the Year presentation was a touching moment for Olivia’s family and the staff at Joe DiMaggio” adds Child Life Specialist Katie Mattby, who originally nominated Olivia. “It was so nice to come together and celebrate all that this little warrior has accomplished. We are just so thankful at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for our continued involvement with Kids Wish Network and their Hero of the Month Program. The patients get such a kick out of being honored!”
“We couldn’t feel more blessed to be going to Joe DiMaggio’s,” Michele notes. “Everyone gladly accepts Olivia’s personality; they really bring out the best in her.”
She continues to face a long medical journey but has moved from inpatient infusions over several days to receiving her treatment in the hospital’s out-patient ambulatory clinic. Olivia and her family visit the hospital at least every two months for her treatments.
Facility: Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital