February 12, 2008, was the day Katie-Belle Cooley, then 8 months old, was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. According to the statistics, she had at best a 50 percent chance of survival. Here is her story, in the words of her mother, Karen Cooley:
I’m so thankful for the staff at Children’s Hospital – Katie-Belle’s doctors and nurses did everything possible to help her beat the cancer. When I learned about the two-year chemotherapy treatment she would have to endure and the side effects that came with it, I wondered which was worse, the disease or the cure.
Katie-Belle was strong through it all, laughing and smiling like a healthy child in spite of the pain and weakness. Then, Katie-Belle came down with pneumonia. The chemotherapy that was beating back her cancer had weakened her immune system to the point a simple infection was life threatening. Thankfully, we had the healing hands of Children’s Hospital to keep her with us.
Over our six-week stay, Katie-Belle would spend time in the pediatric intensive care unit, but she pulled through.
Katie-Belle has been off chemo for almost a year now and finally is eating well, growing and playing like a normal 3-year-old. She’s vibrant and full of life. In my book that isn’t “normal” – it’s a miracle.
There truly are nowords to describe the support and encouragement we received from the staff at Children’s Hospital. When we felt overwhelmed with fear and exhaustion, someone was there to comfort and encourage us and help Katie heal.
For that and all they do to make miracles for our community’s children, my family and I are eternally grateful.