• From Sickle Cell to the Stage


    Vanessa Gissel came into this world with sickle cell disease and a love for dance. At age 7, Vanessa suffered a near-fatal battle with acute chest syndrome, a common side effect of sickle cell disease. Though it meant time away from school and dance, a bone marrow transplant offered the best possible future for Vanessa. Against the odds, Vanessa’s younger ...

  • Pint-Sized Ninja Thanks Caregivers


    In the fall of 2013, Joshua’s family was gearing up for the holidays with their happy, healthy 3-year-old. Then, in just a matter of hours, a few blisters turned into Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a life-threatening condition that left every inch of his tiny body in pain. I’d been a nurse for more ...

  • How a Boy with a Cape Defeated a Building and Inspired a City

    Super DJ

    There once was a boy named DJ. Fueled by the ferocious curiosity of a toddler, DJ accidentally swallowed a harmful cleaning solution. To regain his strength, DJ underwent more than 20 surgeries and spent six months in the hospital. Like many young patients before him, DJ powered through medical procedures by channeling his ...

  • From the NICU to the Moon

    Future Astronaut

    Nestled safely in their homes, babies often fall asleep to lullabies about twinkling stars and jumping sheep. In a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), babies fall asleep to steady beeps from monitors and whispered conversations between parents and caregivers. As a NICU nurse, I have the privilege of caring for babies who ...

  • The Flu Virus and the Danger of What If

    Mom and Son

    When he was 6, my youngest son Nikolas told me that he wanted to be a paleontologist. It was a new word for me. I even had to go look it up! Nikolas was planning to be a builder of many things. Along with his love for math and science, ...

  • 11 Photos that Prove Laughter is the Best Medicine

    Here at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we say we’re Dedicated to All Better. Most of the time that means we do things like heal broken bones, repair heart defects and oversee chemotherapy infusions. But every spring, that dedication manifests as an afternoon that makes fun its highest priority. Our kids ...