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Florer Family Shares Deep Connection to Children’s Health

April 06, 2017

By Patrick McGee

The Florer family of University Park has experienced a trifecta of experiences from Children’s Health: All three of their sons have received care from Children’s medical professionals; mom has served as an active volunteer; and son Will recently delivered his Eagle Scout project to the hospital.

So it should come as no surprise that Gini and John Florer and their three boys share a deep connection to Children’s Health.

Mrs. Florer was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center Dallas before she knew how much the hospital would mean to her. When her second son, John Lawson, was 9 months old, she learned that he had suffered a stroke in utero, resulting in some 60 seizures a day and developmental delays due to most of the left side of his brain not forming.

At 17 months old, John Lawson underwent 10 hours of brain surgery at Children’s Medical Center Dallas to disconnect the left and right hemispheres of his brain and had another surgery about a month later to drain fluid from his brain. John Lawson has made remarkable progress. Now 13 years old, he continues to be seen in many departments at Children’s, including the Epilepsy Center, Neurology, Neuropsychology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Mrs. Florer said the experience made her grateful to the hospital and more sympathetic toward other families who are struggling.

“You really see a lot of people from around our state and region that don’t have a lot of resources,” she said. “I saw that because we were in the hospital for so long.”

In response, she stepped up her work with the Women’s Auxiliary and eventually became the organization’s president. Her leadership helped make it one of the most generous groups donating to Children’s – and it appears to have made an impression on her oldest son, Will.

When the 15-year-old needed a community service project for his work toward Eagle Scout he immediately thought of Children’s Medical Center. The family learned that the nephrology department needed lap boards for patients who have to sit for hours during dialysis. Will got to work. He cut 10 boards from oak and painted each one differently.

The family delivered the boards in January.

Will and his youngest brother, Sutton, have also been treated at Children’s for a range of issues – emergency appendectomy, numerous broken bones, a tree-nut allergy and a double hernia surgery.

“We have had our brother here as a patient, and it was very special to be asked to give back to the hospital,” Will said. “It’s a way to be able to help them, like Children’s helped us.”

 

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