ZANESVILLE, Ohio (July 14, 2015): Children’s charity Kids Wish Network is excited to honor Zanesville 6-year-old Larkin Spencer as a 2015 Hero of the Month. Larkin was nominated for the award for her bravery during a lengthy stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month program recognizes children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have faced and overcome difficult circumstances, often enduring a great deal of pain and suffering. While they may not suffer from a life-threatening illness, these Heroes have dealt with life-altering situations, demonstrating extreme bravery and courage.
Larkin was admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital suffering from dehydration after experiencing abdominal pain for three days. Shortly after admission, she was escorted to the OR where a central line was placed in her neck to begin apheresis. 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, Hollie Johnson, 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,” recalls Johnson.
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 worked vigorously to keep her spirits up and stay positive.
“She kept a smile on her face even during the hardest days,” adds Johnson. “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,” stated Larkin’s parents, Shaun and Megan Spencer. “We are forever grateful for your organization and the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of hundreds of facilities across the United States that works with Kids Wish Network to honor brave kids. Each facility is able to nominate up to five Heroes per month, and each Hero is recognized with a Kids Wish Network certificate, t-shirt, and gift card. Kids Wish Network honored almost 900 Heroes nationwide in 2013/14.
Kids Wish Network is a nationwide charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experience life-altering situations. More than just granting wishes, Kids Wish Network makes a difference through its various programs by delivering hope to kids across the United States. Learn more at www.kidswishnetwork.org.