Providing Miracles For Critically Ill Keiki

By Martha Smith, CEO, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children

When Jullie and Jay Passos learned their son Keegan would be born with a rare and serious heart defect, they turned to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.

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Kapiolani CEO Martha Smith joins Jullie, Keegan, Jay and Kaitlin Passos in May at the Champion's lunch ceremony at Ihilani Resort. PHOTO FROM KAPIOLANI MEDICAL CENTER

Because of his condition, Keegan has been under constant treatment since birth. Before he was 2 years old, surgeons put a total of 10 stents (wire frames) in Keegan’s arteries to assist his heart function. He has gone through more than 20 surgeries, including three open-heart procedures, and was rushed to the hospital at age 5 to have a pacemaker implanted.

Through all of the surgeries and hospital visits, Keegan has shown the strength and determination of a champion, and feels he has lived a richer life than many ever will. He appreciates what today brings and understands that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Keegan, now 16, was named 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Hawaii Champion earlier this year. Next month, Keegan and 55 other Champions will spend a week in Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla., telling media, lawmakers and some of the largest North American companies how local donations changed their lives, thanks to a local children’s hospital.

Children’s Miracle Network is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America.

As Hawaii’s only Children’s Miracle Network hospital, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children strives to meet the needs of our keiki. Since 1984, more than $9 million has been raised for Hawaii’s injured and critically ill children receiving care at Kapiolani. All money raised through Children’s Miracle Network stays in Hawaii to help local children at Kapiolani, regardless of their ability to pay.

Keegan hopes to impact as many lives as possible with his ambassadorship, one heartbeat at a time.

“I want to give back, my heart is full, and I want to share that with those who need it the most,” he said.

Stories like Keegan’s happen daily at Kapiolani, and it is thanks to our community’s kindness and support that we can help countless families receive specialized care right here at home.

Kapiolani is dedicated to improving and advocating for the health of women, children and adolescents of Hawaii and the Pacific Region.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit kapiolanigift.org.

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.