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From the Parents

No one understands The Children's Hospital better than the parents of patients we have cared for! In this 2-minute video, hear from the parents and care team members who serve on our Patient-Family Advisory Council for The Children's Hospital about:

  • What is special about The Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart?
  • Why is this children's hospital special to the families of Northwest Florida, South Georgia and South Alabama?
  • What they're looking forward to with the construction of our new Children's Hospital?

Thank you to the amazing parents who - even after their children have been discharged - continue to come back and serve at the Children's Hospital to make our organization an even better place for the families of the Gulf Coast!

Patient Stories

Drew Barefield One summer’s day, while fishing and snorkeling with his father, 12-year-old Drew Barefield was struck by a boat traveling at high speeds through the bay. Drew was transported by helicopter to The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, where he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit and - in 75 days - underwent 13 surgeries.

Meet Drew, the 2016-2017 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) Florida Champion

Shortly before Christmas in 2013, Katie fell sick with croup. Severely dehydrated, she was rushed to the Pediatric Emergency Room at The Children's Hospital, where she was diagnosed with leukemia. After spending time in the pediatric intensive care unit, Katie began treatment at Sacred Heart’s Pediatric Infusion Center.

Meet Katie

While on vacation in May 2013, 4-year-old Carolyn Hendrix began to have stomach pains that just wouldn’t go away. Her parents took her to her pediatrician, who was concerned that it might be appendicitis. Carolyn was admitted to The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, where a CT scan revealed a tumor in her side.

Meet Carolyn

Drew Barefield Charley Howell of Pensacola was just 2 months old when her mother noticed that Charley was losing weight when she should have been growing by leaps and bounds. After many scans and tests, Charley was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer – pilocytic astrocytoma.

Meet Charley

Two weeks before his sixth birthday, Jeremiah’s mother, Latoya, noticed he was limping and that he’d been losing weight. She took Jeremiah to Sacred Heart Urgent Care and, later, the Pediatric Emergency Room, originally suspecting he had bronchitis. Blood tests revealed that Jeremiah had leukemia.

Meet Jeremiah


In the summer of 2015, Pensacola artist Ashton Howard painted two sea-life murals inside the lobby of The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. The lobby had recently been renovated, and when Ashton’s murals debuted, he was excited to share his work, knowing that children and families would enjoy the paintings for years to come. He had no idea that one of those children would be his own.

Meet Hagan

Baby-boy Valor was born in a smooth delivery following a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Then, two hours after he was born, Valor was being held and snuggled by his family when his parents noticed he had turned blue. He was rushed to the nursery, put on oxygen and transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in one of the hospital’s neonatal transport ambulances.

Meet Valor

Hailey was 6-years-old when she started feeling aches in her muscles and joints. Thought initially to be growing pains, testing and blood work revealed that Hailey’s pain was juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness.

Meet Hailey


Nathaniel was born on Feb. 5, 2015 -- about one month before his due date -- in a delivery his mother Megan described as very smooth. But the next day, a blockage caused Nathaniel’s small intestine to rupture, and he was transported for emergency surgery at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in one of the hospital’s neonatal transport ambulances.

Meet Nathaniel

Over Labor Day weekend in 2014, Robby became ill. A CT scan revealed a hematoma – or a collection of blood outside the blood vessels – and follow-up tests revealed a Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor.

Meet Robby

After a healthy pregnancy and a normal delivery, Cole was found to be having seizures, which were caused by bleeding in his brain. At 36 hours old, Cole was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

Meet Cole

Dennis “DJ” Jackson of Crestview is a very lucky little boy. The 9-year-old miraculously survived a tragic, head-on collision between two trucks on a bridge.

Meet DJ

Lucy is nothing short of a miracle baby. At 36 hours old, she began to crash and her parents faced the possibility of saying goodbye.

Meet Lucy

One day, while taking a school exam, 11-year-old Caleb Summerlin’s face tightened, and his lip began to twitch. The seizures became more frequent, and medications weren’t making a difference. An MRI revealed that Caleb’s seizures were being triggered by a tumor on his brain.

Meet Caleb

When Sarah’s physician discovered that Baby Wade had meconium ileus while in the womb, he anticipated that Wade would have trouble breathing on his own, and the NICU team prepared for Wade’s arrival.

Meet Wade

Sacred Heart's dedicated pediatric rehabilitation staff have made a lasting impression on Karen Baker. Both of her children - Sarah, 16, and Bill, 12 - have benefited from the team of skilled physical, speech and occupational therapists.

Meet Sarah and Bill

Ray was only three days old and just home from the hospital when he had his first seizure, but doctors at the time suspected he may have had seizures even in the womb. On his worst days, his parents estimate he had up to 30 seizures an hour, with each lasting about 20 seconds.

Meet Ray

Patient Stories
Sarah and Bill

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