“Larkin kept a smile on her face even during the hardest days”
After suffering from abdominal pain for three days, 6-year-old Larkin was admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for dehydration. Shortly after, she was escorted to the OR where a central line was placed in her neck to begin apheresis, the separation and integration of a body’s blood products. The procedure, scheduled on short notice, was Larkin’s first time in the operating room, but she bravely battled through it.
Her nominating Child Life Specialist met her the following day and helped her feel comfortable in her hospital surroundings by engaging Larkin in medical play. After explaining to Larkin more about her diagnosis and the medical equipment, the pair worked together to demonstrate the situation on a stuffed animal.
“Larkin assisted me with placing an IV and IJ line in her stuffed animal and continued to update the stuffed animal on his medical equipment according to her own course of treatment,” writes the CLS.
Larkin was officially diagnosed with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare disease that affects kidney function, and received apheresis on a daily basis along with multiple IV placements and painful, daily blood draws. Over the course of Larkin’s nine-day hospitalization, her comfort increased and she began participating in daily bedside activities. She worked vigorously with recreation therapy to keep her spirits up and stay positive.
“She kept a smile on her face even during the hardest days,” adds her CLS. “Larkin truly showed resiliency as she faced this unexpected challenge.”
Larkin demonstrated bravery while facing a life-altering situation, the perfect example of a Hero of the Month. Kids Wish Network is proud to honor her along with Nationwide Children’s Hospital!
Larkin’s long-term diagnosis was undetermined at the time, and she required bi-weekly blood draws and monthly appointments. Her parents now report that Larkin is doing very well.
“We would like to thank the Kids Wish Network for the great things that you do,” writes Larkin’s mom. “We are forever grateful for your organization and the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”