Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Care Inspires a Future in Nursing
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Meet Gabbi, Age 7
When it comes to getting calls from the babysitter, many parents abide by the “no news is good news” mantra. However, when little Gabbi Miller was just 3 ½ years old, her mom, Brooke, got the dreaded call.
Gabbi’s nose just wouldn’t stop bleeding. It had been bleeding for more than an hour by the time Brooke rushed to the sitter’s house from work, so they called an ambulance, which took Gabbi to the Emergency Room at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
“We were totally panicked at the time,” Brooke says. “The doctors told us best case scenario it was a virus, worst case scenario it was cancer. They wanted Gabbi to have the most comprehensive work up possible, so they transferred us to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.”
Gabbi spent 30 days receiving chemotherapy, but after that was declared as in remission. She needed to continue getting chemotherapy for the next two years, which included regular hospital visits, checkups and occasional weekend stays in the hospital.
“I have several of the nurse’s personal cell phone numbers in my phone,” Brooke says. “They were always excited to care for Gabbi and help her when she would come in for chemotherapy. They went above and beyond just getting her physically healthy.”
Brooke says the social workers at UMCH did everything they could to help Gabbi feel comfortable during her extended stays in the hospital. They gave her kid-friendly books about chemotherapy and cancer, supplied her with toys and games, connected the family to Make a Wish Foundation and gave the family donated tickets for events at Royal Farms Arena.
Gabbi now wants to follow in her mom’s footsteps and go to nursing school after the experience at the Children’s Hospital.