Children's Hospital Takes Teen Girl Home

July 6, 2009 9:55:47 PM PDT
When a very sick Valley teenager wanted nothing more than to come back home to live out her final days ... Children's Hospital Central California went where few hospitals have gone. The hospital went way beyond its walls to offer compassion to a patient.It's tough to fathom that just weeks after these pictures were taken 14 year old Taighler Ray of Hanford was in the battle of her life. She was diagnosed with leukemia at Children's Hospital at the age of five. A third relapse of the cancer in December of 2008 forced Taighler's parents Jackie and Joanne to take their daughter to City of Hope Hospital in Los Angeles for a bone marrow transplant. She was recovering well until father's day ... when Taighler had a stroke and began bleeding internally.

Taighler's hematologist and oncologist, Dr. Dan Ozeran said, "The doctors down there felt that she was not likely to survive ... then Jackie mentioned again, 'If we're going to lose heR ... could she at least be at home.'"

Taighler's father, Jackie Ray said, "The reason we wanted to come back home was for Taighler's well-being. We figured if she was in a more familiar setting there would be more of a chance of recovery."

The Ray's insurance company would not pay for a special transport to bring her home, so Children's Hospital fired up Air George, the hospital's helicopter, and flew to L.A. to get her. Understandably Taighler doesn't want to be photographed right now. Doctor Ozeran says she's still very sick and her prognosis is unclear. But since she's returned to the Valley her breathing has been stable and her lungs are stronger.

Jackie Ray, Taighler's father is grateful for the hospital's extreme measures to bring his daughter back to the Valley. He said, "Just the fact that they would go to that extreme to help somebody - and when we told Taighler that she was coming home by the helicopter ... we knew she was happy."

Children's Hospital Administrator Danny Davis said, "It was kinda the right thing to do ... it was time to bring Taighler back home."

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