Valley Children's Hospital has helped this patient, his family for 20 years

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Andy Gomez has been receiving treatment at Valley Children's Hospital since birth.

"He was a premie: 26 weeks, two pounds, two ounces. And he had his first surgery at one week old. Just wanted him to stay alive," said Dalia Gomez, Andy's mother.

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This week, Andy celebrated his 20th birthday inside a room in the hospital's new Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

"We've had seizures in the parks, out of town," Dalia said, "They've told me, 'Where do you want to go?' And my first response is always (Valley) Children's Hospital because I know he's going to get the care that he needs."

The Gomez family, like countless others in the Valley, have come to rely on the care provided at Valley Children's Hospital.

"The quality here is... top-notch. If you go to the best of the best places, they're going to be doing exactly the same thing we're doing here," said Dr. Cesar Santos. "There are 1.3 million kids in the Valley. We are the only children's hospital in the Valley."

Dr. Santos says the work is hard. But at the end of the day, it's always worth it.

"An 11-month-old child we had here, having 100, 150 seizures a day. We did a surgery. That kid has been seizure-free since. What could be more rewarding than that?" he said.

Dr. Santos said in order to best severe local families, the hospital relies on community generosity.

"Projects like (Kids Day) don't come out of nowhere. It takes a lot of effort," he said. "And a big portion of that is the people who make donations and donate their time."

Donations like those make a world of difference for patients like Andy.

"It's kinda scary knowing that I'm not gonna be able to bring him anymore," Dalia said. "My first thought every time he gets sick, has a seizure is: (Valley) Children's Hospital. I don't care where I'm at. I want them to bring him here."

Though Andy is growing up, the need for quality children's healthcare in the Valley will always be there.

Donors can contribute by texting GEORGE to 20222 to make an automatic $10 donation or visit and choose any amount to give, starting at $1.

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