Liam Jaussi’s story — OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital


[PIANO MUSIC PLAYING] I felt in my heart and
in my gut something was off with our boy when he
started waking up at 2 o’clock in the morning for no reason. His appetite started
to not be as great as it had been in the past. I stayed home from work a few
days before the diagnosis, realizing something was wrong. We woke up, let’s see, Thursday
morning, June 24, 2010. And we were just
talking with Liam. And I noticed his left side
of his face was drooping. We knew here goes. Here’s where we go off a cliff. And we got the phone
call from the doctor. His words were the CT, the
CAT scan revealed a large mass on the right side of the brain. And we need to get
Doernbecher back right away. We hung up. And I think the first
thing I said to Laura is we can’t let Liam see us cry. So we cried quietly. Dr. Whitney was the
neurosurgeon on call. And came in to talk to us
and said, there’s a tumor. He was so careful. And so gentle. Just seeing that
image and then hearing that they’re going to go in and
have surgery in the morning, it literally brought
me to my knees. So Saturday morning, he goes
in for his first big surgery. He let me hold him while they
administered the anesthesia. And so he fell asleep, he
fell asleep in my arms. And then we looked at each
other and held each other and cried and fell
to the ground. Once he came to the ICU,
I was part of his care from then on until they
got to the hospital. The tumor was pretty
evident right away. As soon as we opened
up, removed the skull, there’s a covering of the brain. As soon as we opened up
the covering of the brain, we came across some
abnormal tissue. My colleague asked me, given the
complexity and the difficulty to help and be a part of
the second operation, where we knew the challenges
would be even higher. There were still
some large pieces. But most important
were the edges, where the tumor met
up with the brain. We really put our heads
together and worked as a team and were able to
deliver, I think, a really terrific
result for him. We were told we could go
meet him in the postop. He just kept saying,
I want water. I’m thirsty. I’m thirsty. Get me a drink. He would hit his throat
and say, I hate you. I hate you. Yes. [INAUDIBLE] I hate you throat. I hate you throat. That’s like the first time I
think we’d laughed in 48 hours. How were we laughing in
a situation like that? Because I think we
understood, that’s Liam. That’s something Liam would say. [MUSIC PLAYING] [SINGING “A SPOON FULL OF
SUGAR”] [INAUDIBLE] We could go ahead and
proceed with focal radiation. So it was 33 treatments every
day for 6 and 1/2 weeks. When his family said I
think he can probably do the radiation without
sedation, I was like, well, we can try. I’m more than willing to try. He did it. He did it the first day. And he gutted it out. You could tell that he was
like, I am going to do this. Doernbecher has a whole
new meaning to us. This is living proof of the
good that Doernbecher does. We walked out of Doernbecher
Children’s Hospital with the same hopes and
dreams that we had going in. [MUSIC PLAYING] [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, that’s your hospital, huh? [MUSIC PLAYING] [SOUND EFFECT]

8 thoughts on “Liam Jaussi’s story — OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

  1. I played acoustic guitar for the Harmonic Hallways program at Doernbechers in 2006 and consider it a monumental achievement in my life to have provided my soothing music to these children. In my heart always and forever. It's the first time I have ever felt so in tune with myself and other people bcz I did it through my music, my guitar, no vocals, pure guitar for an hour at a time. I played 2 one hour sets and at least 100 people would walk in front of me bcz I was set up in an intersection of 3 main hallways, it was awesome! Just me and my capo. They were so good to me, they gave me a huge thank you "Hero Award" frame which I have had on my wall for the past 8 years. Doernbecher Rocks!!!

  2. Doernbecher's is amazing. They do everything they can and if you don't have money, they don't make you pay right then. My school gives 1,000 dollars every year to them and I never regret it. Personally, I give at least $20 because I love them so much. All they care about is you. All they want to do is make you feel wanted and hopeful.

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