You Inspire The Best in Us.

With the many advances in care and treatments, today’s patients have more and more reasons to expect the best outcomes. Here are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.

  • Saving Alex Griffin
  • Above & Beyond for Every Child
  • The Language of Compassion
  • Growing to Meet the Needs of Growing Families
  • Fulfilling a Need for
    Traumatized Victims
  • Coming Full Circle
  • Breaking the Cycle
  • It’s Time for Your Mammogram
  • Sweet Blessings
  • A Lifesaving Collaboration
  • Robotic Surgery Offers Numerous Benefits
  • A Miracle from God
  • Lawton’s Story, God’s Pen
  • A Top-Notch Delivery
  • A Rainbow after the Storm
  • Working as One to Save a Child’s Life
  • Living Life to the Fullest
  • Kawasaki’s Kryptonite: Timely Care Defeats A Frightening Disease
  • Indiana Burroughs
    Ready for Adventure

Above & Beyond for Every Child

By Jessica Wall

On the morning of Tuesday, July 18, Jessica Larrimore noticed her four-year-old daughter Liza walking differently but did not think much of it at first. They went about their normal routine – Jessica to work and Liza to school.

After school, Liza was still walking differently. When Jessica helped her to the bathroom, she saw what appeared to be an insect bite. It was red and warm to the touch.

The next morning, Jessica took Liza to the pediatrician’s office for an evaluation. Her regular pediatrician happened to be on vacation, so Liza saw Advanced Practitioner Theressa Garris, PNP, with McLeod Pediatric Associates.

The area around the bite had become infected. Theressa prescribed oral and topical antibiotics and recommended a warm compress.

The infection seemed to be improving that night and the next morning, but by Thursday evening, Liza was in pain and could not sleep or walk. On Friday morning, Jessica noticed the infection started draining.

“It was intense,” Jessica recalls. “My husband nearly fainted. We knew Theressa needed to lay eyes on this wound again.”

Theressa evaluated Liza and because the infection failed to respond to the antibiotics determined she would need a minor surgical procedure to cut and drain the infection. This procedure would allow the wound to heal and respond better to treatment.

“Liza was a trooper,” says Theressa. “She was very cooperative and let me examine her even though it was uncomfortable. Her optimistic and bubbly personality shone throughout this experience. She even thanked us after we finished our evaluation. Given her young age, she was very much a hero in my opinion.”

“Theressa’s compassion toward us was above and beyond what I could ever expect from a provider,” recalls Jessica. “She assured me and Liza both that everything would be fine.”

Theressa sent Liza to the Emergency Department since she would likely need to be sedated for the procedure because of her age and location of the wound.

There, Liza was under the care of Dr. Jamie Kenney-Kalbuneh. She examined the wound and confirmed Liza would in fact need to be sedated. During the minor procedure, Dr. Kenney-Kalbuneh drained and packed the wound to help it heal. Liza remained on antibiotics to treat the infection.

Jessica was immediately impressed with the team’s efficiency and kindness.

Liza was then admitted to McLeod Children’s Hospital for observation. Shortly after arriving, she visited the toy library. The next day, Liza felt strong enough to visit the Child Life Activity Center, which features interactive, therapeutic activities for children of all ages.

“I appreciate how Liza could truly enjoy playing with everything, all while attached to an IV pole,” says Jessica. “While in the playroom, I noticed a box where families could suggest improvements, and there is nothing about our experience I would change.

“I had no idea how wonderful McLeod Children’s Hospital was until we had to be there. Liza felt loved, and as a parent, I saw firsthand how they treat children like their very own. As we were leaving, her nurses and technicians brought her a coloring book and blanket to take home. For a child, that is everything. Liza will now look back on her

hospital experience with a smile instead of fear.”

One more bright spot to their hospital stay was when Theressa called to check on both Liza and Jessica.

“It meant the world to us that she would be concerned and take the time to follow up even on a weekend,” recalls Jessica.

For Theressa, this is how she strives to take care of all her patients.

“Thinking back to my experiences of going with my parents or my children to a doctor’s office or visiting loved ones in the hospital, I know how much it means to encounter compassionate care teams. While we are human, I try to treat every child and their parents as I would want my family to be treated. This is how we make the ultimate difference.”