A Place Called Packard

By: SupportLPCH

Welkom. Bienvenidos. Mabuhay. Hi, nice to see you.

On behalf of the entire staff, I'd like to welcome you to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is a 264 bed academic medical center whose mission is to serve both clinical care as well education and research. We provide clinical care for children and pregnant women. We deliver over 5,100 babies a year and we are an internationally recognized pediatric hospital. But we also serve Palo Alto and the mid-peninsula area. We like to tell the community that we are the most sophisticated organization right here in your backyard.

The care here has, there really aren't really words to describe. We've been through many hospitals. Just the knowledge of the nurses and the care that the doctors and the teams gives not only Sean, but the entire family has been phenomenal. Chu [phonetic] was a baby that needed something right then and right there and this hospital was the only place that could have provided it for him. My family is the kind of family that when this happened, immediately their first instinct was "Where's the best that you can get?" It's right here, in our backyard.

Being part of Silicon Valley is an incredible asset to us. We are surrounded by more biotech companies than any other area in the world, and so it allows our researchers to have a unique connection to industry, to the community and we can get those advances to the bedside, to the patient, more quickly. I spend most of my time doing research in a brand new field called bioinformatics. Because the human genome project has essentially been completed, the next big challenge is for us to figure out what do they do? What kind of role do they play in disease? Because if we can say, "This one pediatric disease is very similar to this other adult disease, maybe we can use some of those drugs that we use to treat the adult disease in kids." So I work with medical school as well as the hospital side and so some of the work we do is directly translational. We collaborate with the Stanford School of Medicine, which is an internationally known school of medicine. I think one of the things that differentiates Packard Children's Hospital is that the medical staff, the medical faculty, the research faculty are incredibly smart and they know how to leverage those opportunities and those resources. It is through that collaboration that we pursue both basic science research as well as clinical research to really advance the health of children, through innovation. I was interested in pushing the envelope a little bit for children's care, in innovating new ways of doing things.

A Place Called Packard

I do a lot of operating using what we call "minimal access surgery" which is an attempt to do these complex operations while being the least invasive to the child. Smaller incision, less pain, less hospital stay. And you hope for a good surgeon, but to have the actual person who pioneered the technique perform the surgery on your most precious gift in life is the best thing that you can possibly hope for in that situation.

I had a totally normal pregnancy. Very easy, felt great. Ate right, exercised, had my delivery and she was, as soon as Miko was born she was kind of making bubbles and sputtering a little bit. Her esophagus wasn't fully formed so when she was four days old, they operated on her.

At the time, you know, we were going crazy. We had no idea what was happening. Got online and realized that the most cutting edge and best possible repair was essentially spearheaded and pioneered by the people here at Packard and just couldn't believe our luck. The problem involves a malformation of the esophagus which is the gullet or swallowing tube, where it doesn't form completely and it has a gap in it. Basically anywhere, almost in the country, other than here, the way they would have done this is they make a large incision that basically extends from one side of the back all the way to the front and they have to open everything up in order to get in there. Now being able to do this thoracoscopically, which means making small cuts using chopstick like instruments and placing a telescope into the chest to help with the operation is how I decided would be the best way to do this for the Kryger's child.

She's now eight months old, crawling around, eating like a champ. We just had a follow up appointment about two weeks ago and the repair looked perfect. We're just beyond thankful. It doesn't, that word doesn't even do it justice. We are frequently the children's hospital that other children's hospitals refer the most complex cases. We had an incredible feat just a few months ago, where we performed five transplants, three heart and two liver transplants in the sake of 48 hours, and I think it speaks to the incredible resources that we have here.

When we are faced with a complex pediatric case or a high risk obstetric case, we can bring a tremendous amount of resources to bear in order to meet that patient's, that family's needs. I would say this hospital is a life saver. For me, this is like home. Packard is like home. Miranda is my third child and in 1994, she was born with a liver disease. We don't know what caused it but our home hospital sent us to Packard for a liver transplant.

Do you want to say what you do now? Horseback riding and... Um, I... Jazz class.

I like, I do soccer and I do horseback riding and I do jazz. I like [inaudible]; it's fun. I like shopping and make up and going to the mall and stuff, so, yeah. She's a regular 12-year old girl. She is exactly the epitome of why we enjoy taking care of children that have liver transplants because she was a very sick baby, but she's grown up into a very lovely adolescent. She's gone to her first school dance, I think she's even had her first date, which is probably not thrilling her parents, but, she does everything she wants to do and that's really, I think what our goal is, so that these children can grow up and enjoy life to the fullest. They're our good friends.

They're part of our family, aren't they? Luc was diagnosed with a very rare brain cancer. He's gone through a lot and it's amazing how children are so resilient and I think I have to really thank the staff here. They're really wonderful, the care has been great, everything has been on time. We've really been respected as parents and listened to, which is very important. To see Luc smile is just everything.

That's the reward, you know, for me. When a parent hands you their child, totally trusting, but it's because of the Packard Stanford name, that they trust us. And so we all try our best to live up to that. It's a really good staff. I just like all the people who are on the staff. They're really nice to the children and stuff.

The caring of children is really the heart and soul of this institution and that's what Lucile Packard wanted and I truly believe that we have helped her attain her goals. Even though we've been in existence for less than 16 years, we've been very, very fortunate to get national recognition for both our programs in quality and safety as well as some of the advances that we've made, one of which is to be rated by the U.S. News and World Report and we've been in the top 10 and 15 for the last several years and in fact in California, we are rated the number 1 children's hospital. We're going to be moving down to Southern California because if we ever have a medical problem, we're driving right back up here. Because this is where we know we're going to get the best care. We're in the process right now of remodeling about 40% of the hospital so we can increase our capacity of outpatient and inpatient capacity. So we have all kinds of plans to continue to see the growth of our programs, to continue to make investments in research and education so we can produce the leaders for tomorrow and really have some breakthrough innovations for children, to really advance the health of children and pregnant women as we look ahead. Our goal, at the end of the day, is to bring extraordinary care to bear so that children can live ordinary lives.

I mean, that's at the essence of what we're here to do is to see those happy children, those families that have come through a traumatic experience and have left the hospital with their wonderful child and has felt that during that whole process of taking care of their child, that they have been surrounded by people who truly care for them as well as their children.

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