Futures Worth Fighting For: Valley Children's help young heart patient feel at home

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Kinsley is four-years-old and it's hard to imagine she has already had four open heart surgeries. (KFSN)

Kinsley is four-years-old and it's hard to imagine she has already had four open heart surgeries. In addition to her family support system, Kinsley is being guided through her medical journey by Marian Facciani--one of Valley Children's Hospital's Childlife Specialists.

"My job here in the hospital is to help kids cope with being in the hospital."

For 35 years Marian has helped make miracles at Valley Children's Hospital. Bringing Kinsley joy is only a partial benefit. Using dolls, stuffed animals, or photographs, Kinsley is taken through her procedure step by step so she knows what to expect.

"Every child deserves to know what's happening to them," said Marian. "Seeing them change, being able to articulate, and being able to talk about what's happening to them and not be so afraid-- that's the reward to me."

Kinsley's art tools are all shaped like hospital items she'll interact with on a daily basis.

"They make them less threatening when you can play with them," said Marian.

"This hospital means everything to us," said Michelle Herzog, Kinsley's mother. "Knowing that Marian comes in and checks on her and brings her Play-Doh and paint-- she brought in the music therapist the other day."

Kinsley isn't the only success story to come out of Valley Children's, doctors at Valley Children's also performed open heart surgery on her mom Michelle when she was just five days old.

"We love this hospital and we love the doctors and the nurses, they've become our extended family," said Michelle.

The Child Life Specialist Program is hospital funded. Donations towards the Futures Worth Fighting For telethon, sponsored by ABC30, directly benefit programs like this through the children's fund-- addressing immediate needs to help maintain the highest levels of pediatric care.
Related Topics:
healthValley childrens hospitalmadera countymaderasurgeryMadera
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