Our Children's Stories

Learn more about some of the remarkable patients at Children's. While these brave children battle serious conditions, each shares a common story of hope, courage and determination. Be inspired by their resiliency. See how they received the gift of childhood from Children's and from philanthropists like you.


Ashley Jackson

Ashley Jackson was at theater camp in the summer of 2014 when she began experiencing excruciating back pain. But she powered through it so as not to disappoint her instructors.

Thinking it was related to her scoliosis, her mother, Debbie Jackson, took her to an orthopedic doctor, but her X-rays were clear. Soon after, Ashley began losing her balance. Then her knees started buckling.

Jacob Mowl

Lori Mowl said the thought of open-heart surgeries never bothered her son, Jacob. To Jacob, who had six surgeries by the time he was 4, they were just part of his day-to-day life.

In Honor of Fathers

In honor of Father’s Day, Children’s Medical Center looked back on the year’s interviews with patient families and selected moving stories from the fathers’ perspectives. Here are nine stories of their struggles to deal with their children’s grave diagnoses and see their sons and daughters through successful, life-saving treatment.

Camden Caldwell

The doctor told Camden Caldwell’s mother that if he had gone just one more day without medical treatment the 8-year-old might not have survived.

It was a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes that hit the family like a thunderbolt. It was completely unexpected, and a doctor in their small town north of Frisco misdiagnosed it at first, thinking it was just a stomach virus.

Victoria Turner

On their way from Oklahoma to Dallas, the Turners passed a horrible car accident. A minivan was crushed so badly it was difficult to recognize the make of the car. Clay Turner remembered thinking at the time that someone must have died in that wreck.

The accident had happened just hours earlier, and Mr. Turner soon learned the worst – the van was a Chevrolet Uplander and inside it were his children and his wife’s parents.

Emmy Kaighan

Emmy Kaighan’s medical history contains a tale of two teams: a team of medical professionals that saved her life and a team of friends and family that raises money each year through the Red Balloon Run & Ride to support that type of care.

Sawyer Jones

When Patrick Jones first saw his adopted son in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the newborn was full of wires and tubes. He thought nothing of it.

“I didn’t see the wires; I just saw my son,” Mr. Jones said. “Just picking up my baby was great for me.”

Mitchell Bowen

Cancer survivor Mitchell Bowen is able to run in the Red Balloon Run & Ride because he built up his ability to walk and run normally through many determined months of physical therapy at Children’s Medical Center.

Luke Simons

Any mother would be proud to hear her son play the piano, but when Julie Simons was in the kitchen one day and suddenly heard her son, Luke, playing from the other room it had special meaning. Luke can play beautifully because of his talent and because Children’s Medical Center saved him from cancer and from losing his arm.

M.J. Ward

At age 11, M.J. Ward has already won more than 60 medals for competitive swimming. But even more remarkable is that the Dallas boy was born with eight congenital heart defects.
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