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Crohn's Disease
Lisa Willis Slusher

"Thankful"

For a while now I have been noticing billboards and articles about being a "Child of Children's" and every time I do I think, "I'm one of them". My name is Lisa Willis Slusher and I am a very thankful Child of Children's.

I am first of all thankful for all the great care that was given to me by the staff of Children's Hospital. I can remember actually crying as my family and I pulled away after my final stay at Children's. I cried because the nurses and staff had become like family and I was going to miss them.

I am mostly thankful that after much testing I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and was able to be treated and because of that live a healthy life today. And I am finally thankful to be able to tell my story. This is another opportunity for me to tell about how God healed me and used Children's Hospital in that process.

I was first admitted to Children's Hospital in May of 1985 at the age of 11. After a stay in my local hospital my condition progressed and my doctor felt I needed to be seen by a specialist. I have forgotten many names from that time but I will always remember the name of that specialist. His name was Jose Mestre. At that time I spent about a week in the hospital. I saw Dr. Mestre daily, answered countless questions, endured numerous tests and worked a lot of crossword and jigsaw puzzles. It was a lot to handle for an 11-year old. Through it all my mom and I received great care.
I returned to Children's for my second stay in July of 1985. I had returned home only to continue having abdominal pain, being unable to eat, and rapidly losing weight. At last I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease.
Thereafter for about two and a half years I took a daily dose of Prednisone to treat the disease and keep my pain subsided. My appetite greatly improved and I was feeling much better. I also travelled to Children's every three months to see Dr. Mestre.

Things continued to go well until my pain returned in the fall of 1987. It was determined that medication was no longer effective and surgery was needed.

In January of 1988, I spent my final two weeks in Children's Hospital. At that time I underwent a small bowel resection to remove an inflamed portion of my small intestines.
As a much younger Child of Children's I often looked at my stays as an adventure. My mom made the time tolerable by taking me to the gift shop, taking walks with me, taking me to the snack bar, and getting us special passes out. But now that I am older it is much easier to look back and be thankful and amazed. I was a very sick little girl and now I am a healthy adult, all because Children's Hospital was there.
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