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Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to honor Angel Watkins, 15, of Wilson County, at the 31st annual Celebration Broadcast on June 3 and June 5

June 03, 2016 posted by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE, N.C. - A cancer diagnosis forever changed the life of Angel Watkins and her family, but thanks to the care and treatment she received at the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center, she has made a stellar recovery.

In late 2014 she began limping, and her hometown doctor sent her to see Dr. Beng Fuh, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist with the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, whose compassion and skill bring hope to children and their families. Patricia and Charles, Angel’s parents, were devastated to learn their little girl had a fast-moving cancer tumor growing in her knee. Soon after the diagnosis, her leg was amputated at the hip.

Then began her long recovery, which included several long hospitalizations for chemotherapy treatments. Throughout it all, Angel kept her positive attitude, even when she learned she would lose her leg. “One tear rolled down her face,” Patricia Watkins says. “She never cried.”

Angel 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, while celebrating the healing that’s made possible through donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donors’ generosity helps make sure the 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. The network is big, but 100 percent of contributions received this weekend during the broadcast 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.

Throughout her sickness, Angel kept up with her school work, making straight A’s. She applied for – and was accepted at – the Early College Academy at Wilson Community College. She began the program in 2015 and is already thinking about college.

“The experience at the children’s hospital was excellent,” Patricia says. “They treated us like we were family. They are our family. We fell in love with them.”

Today Angel uses a prosthetic leg, and is “doing really well - progressing fast,” Patricia says. They return to the children’s hospital every three months for a bone scan, but they are grateful to have left the illness behind. They are happily looking forward to their daughter’s continued improvement.

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