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Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to honor Drea Gauquie, 11, of Pitt County, the 2016 Poster Child, at the 31st annual Celebration Broadcast

June 03, 2016 posted by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE, N.C. - A birthday party took a tragic turn in March 2015 when Drea Gauquie and her friends were riding an all-terrain vehicle that rolled over and crushed her foot. The accident tore away skin, broke most of the bones in her foot, and stripped away muscle tissue.

Once at James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center, her doctors weren’t sure they could save her foot. Not only did she suffer severe damage, but contaminated soil entered the wound, leading to potentially harmful infections. She underwent surgery three times a week to keep the wound clean, and had steady antibiotic infusions. She became malnourished because of the constant physical stresses.

Because of her fragile health, Drea was placed in the kids immunosuppressed specialty unit (KISU), where her long recovery began. Her parents, Heather and Chris Gauquie, were by her side as their daughter healed.

“The KISU made such a difference,” said Heather. Despite the pain of her injury, when Drea arrived at KISU, “her whole demeanor changed – her eyes lit up because it was so bright. She could see outside. The child life team was wonderful at getting her spirits up, and they even brought in therapy dogs to see her.”

Drea and other miracle children and their families will share their amazing stories of recovery at the 31st annual Celebration Broadcast on June 3 and 5, celebrating the healing that’s made possible through donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donors’ generosity helps make sure Maynard Children’s Hospital has the most advanced treatments possible for children in eastern North Carolina.

This year’s telethon is shining a special spotlight on the equipment and programs donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. At Maynard Children’s Hospital, children are welcomed by colorful, cheerful settings that reassure them during what may be a scary hospitalization. Contributions help fund diversions to reduce their fear, and ease pain they may feel.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat one of every 10 children in North America. Tur network is big, but 100 percent of contributions stays right here in eastern North Carolina.

This year’s miracle children have bravely faced difficult illnesses, but today they are enjoying fun childhood activities with their friends and families.

As she recovered, Drea soon returned to school, and in July 2015 underwent a skin transplant to replace lost tissue. Then almost miraculously the next month, the little girl whose foot was almost amputated returned to school without crutches. Maynard Children’s Hospital made that recovery possible, according to Heather.

“Our children’s hospital gets five stars,” she said. “From the housekeeping staff, all the way up to management, everyone was amazing. It’s hard to be in the hospital with your hurt child, but you are comforted by the staff – who are always so friendly.”

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