Slideshow with images from the Mott Golf Classic Event, held on 6/4/12.
Nothing can prepare you for the news that your child is very ill. Shannon and Frank Hamet have been told that twice.
Their daughter Marisa was born on February 17, 2003 in Detroit. Marisa underwent several surgeries in her first few months of life, and a liver biopsy showed that she had an extremely rare liver disease - Biliary Atresia. In July, 2003 she was referred to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Between the time that she was put on the transplant list for a liver (November, 2003) and when she received a liver transplant a year later, Marisa had many hospitalizations. Her parents credit Dr. M. James Lopez, Pediatric Director, Liver Transplant for helping Marisa survive a very difficult year while she waited for a liver.
Shannon is grateful to Dr. Jeffrey Punch and Dr. John Magee, the talented surgeons who performed the liver transplant.
Shannon says that Marisa’s nurse, Vicki Shieck is like family. Shannon says, “She is phenomenal!” and “the epitome of family-centered care.”
Marisa is now a healthy nine year old who refers to Mott as “her hospital” because she knows it so well. This November will mark the 8th anniversary of Marisa’s transplant. Time has not lessened the Hamets’ loyalty or gratitude to the staff at Mott Hospital. Shannon says, “We wouldn’t go anywhere else.” Even for blood draws they drive the 45 minutes to Ann Arbor.
Last year Marisa attended Camp Mitchitanki (a camp for children who have had organ transplants). Her mom says that Marisa’s camp experience was “phenomenal.” Shannon says, “She loved every second.” and immediately started looking forward to going back in 2012.
“Simple things” like Marisa being able to swim in a pool or bathe in the bath tub without having to protect tubes, became part of her post-transplant life. Shannon says, “Even the simple things in life are not guaranteed.” The Hamets had another reminder of that last December.
Shannon helped other Mott families by serving as co-chair of the Patient Family Advisory Council for three years. During that time she attended many meetings about planning for the new Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital which opened in December, 2011. Shannon planned to volunteer to help with the move from the old facility to the new one. Instead of volunteering that weekend, Shannon got to experience the move firsthand. Marisa’s brother was admitted to Mott the Friday before the move weekend with newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes. As someone who knew firsthand about the planning that went into the new hospital and the move, Shannon was able to witness the results of all of the planning with an easy, well-planned transition to the new space.The Hamets are grateful to the doctors, nurses, and the support staff at Mott who helped their family through a difficult time and saved Marisa’s life. They celebrate each anniversary of that “very happy day” that Marisa got her new liver, and they never forget the family who made it possible. Shannon says, “My daughter would not be here without them.”
Blue Visits Kids at Mott
It is nearly impossible to describe our day at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital on June 4th 2012. I am not sure I have ever had such a rewarding experience.
My sister and I spent the morning drive preparing ourselves for the sadness that hovers in every hospital corridor. The fact that we were going to be visiting kids made it even more difficult. Upon arriving, we met with hospital staff to receive our instructions, met with the larger-than-life Blue, and then headed upstairs with more than 200 plush M&M characters. Growing up an M&M kid, I have always known how people smile when you utter the name of these chocolate treats, but I was not prepared for the many people that surrounded Blue before we even made it to the elevator. Parents and kids alike gathered around with smiles on their faces and open arms to receive their new toys. It was impossible to feel a bit of sadness in the midst of such joy. One young girl held her yellow M&M close as she wrapped her arms around Blue, a picture captured forever in my memory.
As we made our way upstairs we were surprised to find no daunting hallways, white walls or bright lights. Instead there were beautiful pieces of children's artwork lining the walls, colored tiles on the floor, observation windows and telescopes in the corners. Each child's room had enough sunlight that many didn't even have their lights on. The rooms were personally decorated by each child with posters of sports teams and musicians held to the walls with butterfly magnets. Their handwriting and drawings lined the extra wall space made of dry erase surfaces. They had their own private bathrooms and showers with rooms large enough that their parents could stay close to their kids in their time of need. There was no hospital smell and there were no gloomy faces. I barely recognized the hospital staff in their kid-friendly attire and their smiles relieved many fears. I have never seen such a remarkable medical facility with such an amazing staff.
One young girl was unable to greet Blue in person; the risk for germs was just too high. As she put her hand on the glass window, Blue placed his there as well. In that moment, I knew what we had come to do: to lighten the load for these kids for just a moment, to bring a smile that just couldn't come in the morning, to take a picture of a family with a giant M&M and give a toy for a child to hold close when they needed a friend. In a place where we expected to see tears, we saw smiles. Where we imagined pain, we saw laughter and where we expected fear, we saw hope - in the eyes of the children, the smiles of the staff and the strength of the parents. While the golf outing was beautiful, the courses immaculate, there was no place I would have rather been than with those kids.
This hospital is not a hospital, it’s a home. It's a home where children are safe, where they can create, go to school, meet new friends and fall asleep knowing that their parents are near. It is remarkable thing to see a child smile, but knowing that you could possibly contribute to the laughter of a child and their parents, that's not something I can even put into words.Left to Right – Nicole Jameson, Kelly Jameson & Tom Jameson (Mars Associate)
FRANK BECKMANN BROADCASTS FROM MOTT
The Mott Golf Classic Family was happy to welcome Frank Beckmann to Mott & Women's Hospital on February 13, 2012, to sponsor his broadcast from the Family Resource Center on the 8th Floor of Mott.
Here, Frank talks with Ora Pescovitz, MD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO, University of Michigan Health System, about the new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital which opened in December, 2011.