Dara was a previously healthy, bright 8-year-old who was admitted to Kapi’olani Medical Center with acute encephalitis, a rare condition that caused inflammation of the brain. Dara was kept sedated for several weeks but miraculously managed to begin recovering.
While her progress was slow at first, she quickly relearned how to breathe, swallow, and eat on her own. Dara’s overall stay was nearly two months during which time she had to cope with all the changes her body endured as a result of her condition. Dara had rigorous, daily physical, speech, occupational, and cognitive therapy which got her almost back to her baseline of functioning.
“Dara remained positive, outgoing and playful and never expressed any frustration as she rehabilitated herself from near death,” writes her nominating Child Life Specialist Megan Yee. “Her progress was what some would call a miracle, and her outlook on the entire situation more than qualifies her as a hero. Dara has been an inspiration to us all.”
We certainly agree that Dara is an inspiration and are proud to honor her as a Hero of the Month!