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Maria Fareri Children's Hospital Patient to Represent New York as Medical Champion

ndy LaGuardia; (914) 493-6532; laguardiaa@wcmc.com
David Billig; (914) 493-8028; billigd@wcmc.com

Valhalla, New York, April 11, 2012 – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center – the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County – is proud to announce that pediatric liver transplant patient Tyler Mejorado has been named the 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® Champion for New York State.

As Champion, Tyler, 11, of Fishkill, New York, will serve as an ambassador for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, the entire state and all the children cared for by the 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America.  Among Tyler’s duties as Champion will be to travel to Washington, D.C., this September where he and other state Champions are scheduled to share their amazing stories.  Tyler also will participate in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ annual Celebration event at World Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  The Champions program, whose partners include Delta Airlines, Ace Hardware and Chico's FAS, brings attention to the important work performed at local children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children like Tyler who have triumphed despite significant medical challenges

Tyler Mejorado, 11

Spirit of a Champion

Tyler’s Champion story began when he was diagnosed with a liver condition at 6 years-old.  His condition gradually worsened and by the time he was 10, Tyler was in need of a liver transplant.  A donor was found and the hospital’s transplant team scheduled his surgery at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for April 10, 2011 - the same day as the hospital’s annual Go the Distance fundraising walk and family fun day. 

Eager to support the hospital that was caring for him and in a gesture symbolizing his Champion spirit, Tyler participated in Go the Distance with his doctors’ permission. Soon after crossing the walk’s finish line, Tyler underwent a successful liver transplant operation.  He was up and walking just a few days later and today, a year after his transplant, Tyler is doing well in school, playing sports with his brother and sisters and eager to begin his role as a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion. 

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center has been a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital since it opened in 2004 and this is the fourth time a child cared for by the hospital has been chosen for the Champions program.

“We are thrilled Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals once again chose a patient from our hospital to be the Champions ambassador for all of New York State,” stated Michael Gewitz, M.D., Physician-in-Chief, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.  “This honor, along with Tyler’s story of courage and determination, symbolizes the exceptional, advanced pediatric care provided by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and the inspirational spirit of the children we care for each and every day.”

About Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center is the children’s hospital for New York’s Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County, Connecticut. As home to the area’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric transplant program, burn center, cardiac catheterization program and its regional neonatal intensive care unit, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital cares for the area’s most seriously ill and injured kids.

A regional and national leader in children’s healthcare, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center was designed from the point of view of patients and families as well as doctors and nurses.  In addition the hospital operates under the family-centered care philosophy, which encourages moms, dads, brothers and sisters to be involved in the care process.  These factors result in a special healing environment that puts children and parents at ease so the whole family feels better.

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions
Every year, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® Champions program identifies a child with a remarkable medical story from each state. These Champions serve as ambassadors for the 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals annually. The Champions and their families will travel to Orlando, Fla. and Washington, D.C., for one week in September to meet with delegates and media to highlight the vital work taking place at children’s hospitals.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. Delta Air Lines has been a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1998, and this year is supporting the 2012 Champions program as title sponsor. Ace Hardware and Chico’s FAS are official sponsors of the 2012 Champions.



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