My experience as a nurse and the parent of a sick child

Elliot

7-year-old Elliot

I was a nurse at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for almost 10 years before I truly understood what it’s like to be “on the other side.” Yes, that’s what we call it.

It’s much easier being a nurse for a patient than it is being the parent of a patient. When we leave the hospital, our life gets back to normal. A parent does not get that same luxury.

This is an amazing place, filled with amazing people, but as a nurse I never wanted to be one of the parents on the other …Continue reading →

How child life specialists helped my kids during their emergency room visits

My daughter's dog bite to her face

A dog bit Paeton’s face.

As a mom, I like having a plan and checking things off my list. I also like to see my plans coming to fruition. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since being a mom, it’s that nothing goes as planned.

Since August, I’ve found myself sitting in the emergency room of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin not once, but twice with two of my three children. Both situations were not in my plan.

I sat there both times feeling anxious and worried, but forcing a brave face for the sake of my hurting children. Even though I didn’t have a plan, I knew Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin did — thanks to their amazing …Continue reading →

Growing up with a new heart, a new life

Vincent gets a new heartMy name is Vincent, and I am 14 years old. One week before my seventh birthday, I had a heart transplant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. People made a big deal about it, because I was the first kid in the upper Midwest to receive a Berlin heart.

A Berlin heart is a fake heart that you wear on the outside of your body. It keeps you alive while you wait for a transplant. I was out of the hospital in just 10 days! Now, I get to …Continue reading →

Thank you Children’s Hospital for making my daughter feel like a star

Lily and Bailey are twin sistersIt was a once in a lifetime experience. A few weeks ago my daughters, Lily and Bailey, had the opportunity to participate in a video shoot for a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin TV commercial — airing now through the holiday season.

For my entire family, including big sister Maddie, it was a fun and exciting experience. But more importantly, it was an opportunity for them to help other kids by raising awareness …Continue reading →

Why it doesn’t always take a brain surgeon to explain brain surgery

As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I help children with a wide range of neurological conditions. It can be a challenge explaining diseases and illnesses that affect the brain to families. That’s why when I came across Isabelle’s video on YouTube, I thought, I couldn’t have said …Continue reading →

Why I created Team Joey and participate in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk

Joey spent 74 days at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Joey is now 20 months old.

On Dec. 13, 2011, my son Joseph “Joey” Raymond Esselmann was unexpectedly born at 26 weeks gestational age. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ¾ ounces and was 13 inches long.

The doctors were unsure if Joey would survive, and if he did, whether he would have long-term complications. He spent …Continue reading →

Why you should listen to the Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon for Children’s Hospital

Emily Venteicher

Tune in to 96.5 WKLH May 23-24 to hear Emily’s story on the Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon for Children’s Hospital.

Hello, my name is Emily Venteicher. I’m 12 years old. On Feb. 13, 2013, I was taken by Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I had gone skiing earlier that day. I went off a jump and fell on my head while not wearing a helmet. I had a brain injury called a subdural hematoma. That same night, I underwent surgery to alleviate the pressure on my brain. Six days later, I was released from the hospital and was able to return home to my family two months earlier than the …Continue reading →

How the Transport Team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin gave us our baby back

Amelia inhaled meconium in the womb, which resulted in serious lung problems.

Amelia spent 18 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Months of preparation, reading, classes and research couldn’t have prepared these two first-time parents for what we were about to endure. Minutes after our daughter, Amelia, was born, we were informed of her fragile state and that Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was en route in the sky.

Amelia inhaled meconium in the womb, which resulted in serious lung problems. Our hometown hospital was doing as much as they could, but wasn’t able to give Amelia the care she needed. When the Transport Team from Children’s Hospital arrived, we were confused, exhausted and terrified — and they could tell.

Each of them took the time to consult with my husband and I, walking us through all the steps …Continue reading →

Our expertise in treating heart conditions gives kids like Oliver a chance at life

I’ve worked as a nurse clinician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Herma Heart Center for 4 years. I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else.

I’m proud to work at Children’s Hospital because here, I’m part of a team that is dedicated to our patients and their families. The Herma Heart Center staff is always here to support our patients and their families, whether their child has a mild heart issue that he or she will outgrow or complex problems that will require multiple heart procedures. I believe this …Continue reading →

Like you, we believe kids deserve the best

Like all moms, I wanted only the best for my girls as they were growing up. Throughout my career as a health care provider, I tested the quality of my work by asking: would this be good enough for my kids? At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, we’ve never settled for anything less than the best for kids — and we never will. I consider it an honor to work for …Continue reading →