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“Last year we were transferred from Puerto Rico to MCH and spent about 20 days with our five-year-old son. It was our first experience and I have to say it was excellent. They did several procedures including a gallbladder removal. Also they discovered [my son had] a rare congenital condition. We came back to treat this condition and he had a successful surgery. We received true care and affection from the staff. I’m very thankful to everyone in 3 North East, especially to the team of exceptional nurses and the GI team including: Dr. Hernández, Dr. Arboleda and Dr. Reeves. Also, I want to thank- with all my heart and soul- the Pediatric Surgery Team including: Dr. Burnweit, Dr. Malvezzi, Dr. Ramos-Irizarry, Dr. Loux, Dr. Fitzwater, all the Student Residents and Physician Assistants. The Pulmonology Division: Dr. Franco, Dr. Rodríguez all the Respiratory Therapists and of course all the beautiful and caring nurses in 2 East. It is extremely difficult to have a sick child, but with your support, help and care everything was easier and a lot less painful. We the Figueroa-Negrón Family from San Juan, Puerto Rico will always be thankful for the role you have played in helping Mauricio. You will forever have our respect and admiration. Best regards always!”

Vanessa Negrón Ubiñas

Avery’s Story

avery“While in Miami for Spring Break Avery became ill and was later diagnosed with an ovarian torsion. She underwent emergency surgery with Dr. Cathy Burnweit at MCH. Avery’s recovery was so quick, she even made it to a Miami Heat game the day she was discharged. She is already back on the soccer field in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Burnweit, Please know how grateful we are for all you did to diagnose and treat Avery. Thank you.”

– Lori, Jacksonville, FL

HIPEC: New Hope for Children with Cancer

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is an innovative treatment for advanced abdominal cancers. With HIPEC, high doses of heated chemotherapy aim to destroy cancer cells that remain in the abdomen after surgery.

On September 30th, 2011, the medical team of Miami Children’s Hospital performed the first HIPEC or “heated chemotherapy” surgical treatment on a pediatric patient.

The hand-picked team was led by Miami Children’s Interim Chief of Pediatric Surgery Dr. Cathy Burnweit and HIPEC pioneer Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, Associate Professor and Director of Pediatric Surgical Oncology at The MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas. Hayes-Jordan is believed to be the first and only surgeon in the country to perform the adult procedure on children using heated chemotherapy.

The patient, 8-year-old Kelly of Miami, who has been in the care of Miami Children’s since 2006 and has undergone a series of treatments for a recurrent form of cancer in her abdomen, is doing very well following the treatment.

Kelly’s hematologist/oncologist Dr. Guillermo De Angulo, of Miami Children’s Hospital’s Cancer Center, said, “We knew we had exhausted available treatments for Kelly. When Kelly’s mother heard Dr. Hayes-Jordan speak at an on-campus lecture for the MCH medical staff, she knew HIPEC was something she wanted to attempt for Kelly. Thanks to this collaboration, we were able to make that dream come true.”

Dr. Cathy Burnweit, said, “Kelly has exceeded our recovery expectations. Our hopes are high that this intervention will offer her and her family a brighter future.” The Florida procedure will also lead to greater access to the HIPEC intervention for other children who meet the criteria for treatment.

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Video produced by Dan Perez