UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital 2019 Kid Captain: Kendra Hines

– One night she quit breathing
in the middle of the night. It was the most horrifying
time of my life. I thought we were gonna lose our daughter. Called the ambulance,
brought her to Iowa City, and thank God for this hospital because we may not have
our daughter today. (gentle music) When I was pregnant with
Kendra, I was older. We had the AFP test done and
the results came back positive for Down syndrome at 18 weeks. In my mind, Kendra would
be perfect, no matter what. I could not even imagine our
life without her right now. Three days after Kendra was born, they asked at a local
hospital in Cedar Rapids if they could test for Down syndrome and three days later it came back and in fact, it was positive. – When she was born, she
had a hard time breathing. She was very small, maybe a
little under four pounds, tiny. She was premature and we
had to stay at the hospital for about three weeks before
she was able to leave. She kept on honking. It was a very unusual sound
every time she would breathe. They thought she was okay,
and I guess so did we. When we brought her home, one
night, about a week later, my wife noticed that she had
started to quit breathing. She woke me up, “Kendra’s not breathing.” It was horrifying. It was very, very sad to
see a child gasping for air. I immediately called the ambulance and they asked, “Where do you wanna go?” I said, “I want to go to
the children’s hospital.” – At that point, she was
diagnosed with laryngomalacia and subglottic stenosis. One which being the
softening above the voice box and one being weakening of the cartilage below the voice box. Dr. Kacmarynski and her team
performed a supraglottoplasty, which widened her airway to
help her breathe normal again. When she was in for her
last set of tubes in 2017, she aspirated during surgery. At that point, she was
put in ICU for a few days. Then they found out she
had yet another diagnosis. She was diagnosed with tracheomalacia and that is the airway can collapse when she coughs, breathes, even eats. So, when she gets worked
up about something, a lot of times she gets a coughing spell that causes her trachea to collapse. The doctors and nurses, the
staff, are just phenomenal. They know their business and they take care of
these children to no end. There’s lots of different things that can be associated with Down syndrome. They can have major heart problems, bowel problems, stomach problems. We are very lucky Kendra has none of that. She does have hypothyroidism
and has been on medication since she was 6 months old. I just explain Down syndrome
as a chromosomal disorder. They have an extra chromosome. It’s called trisomy 21, and it makes them a
little bit more delayed than other children. – She has that extra chromosome and it kind of looks like this. I tattooed it on my arm,
and so did my family. – [Teresa] Kendra is
very highly functional so we are very lucky. In fact, I call it up syndrome because there’s nothing down
about Kendra whatsoever. – [Mickey] She loves everybody she meets. She always wants to give somebody a hug. She does have a heart of gold. She is just like a angel
sent to me and my wife. Of course, we love her very much. – My advice to other parents with children with Down syndrome is
let them be who they are. Never hold them back. With Kendra, we never led her to believe that she cannot do anything. We just let her do and be Kendra. – [Mickey] I would have to say that this hospital here is heaven-sent. Without the people here to help, these children would not
have the love and caring of these doctors and staff
do here at this place. – [Teresa] I cannot
even thank enough people for what they have done for our daughter. She is who she is today
and she’s here today because of this place. (gentle music)

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