Tyler Today April/May 2017 : Page 160
2017 Miracle Child Destiny Williams by Lexie Clark, Program Coordinator Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Foundation CHRISTUS® Trinity Mother Frances Health System Everybody has a story… some stories are bigger than others, and the story of Destiny Miriah Williams is a big story. Destiny was born in February 2002, the youngest child of Sonia and Robbie Williams. Shortly after birth, a routine PKU test revealed that Destiny had Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited, chronic, incurable condition that results in red blood cells becoming misshapen and breaking down in the body. “It is amazing how this small error in the gene causes so many problems for so much of the body,” shares CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic pediatrician, Dr. Paul Pitts. The only treatment for Sickle Cell Disease is to manage the excruciating pain from aplastic crisis that occur when rigid, sticky, misshapen red blood cells get stuck in the body’s small blood vessels. At a mere six months of age, Destiny spiked a 104 temperature and was hospitalized for an aplastic crisis. Now, at 15 years old, Destiny has learned to manage her condition, although she still suffers pain crisis that require hospitalization at least twice a year. This past summer, Sickle Cell struck another disappointing blow when Destiny was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a degenerative complication of her disease. Despite the possibility of an eventual hip replacement as a result of this complication, Destiny remains positive and committed to her health and hobbies. Her pediatrician, Dr. Pitts adds, “It is not an exaggeration that Destiny and her kind, fun heart is known by all at CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic – Pediatrics. What really inspires me is that she can stick with it all and love life.” When admitted to the Children’s Center at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler, Destiny works with Certified Child Life Specialist, Brittany Grimm on alternative pain management techniques such as guided imagery and breathing practices. “Destiny is very knowledgeable of Sickle Cell and understands her disease very well,” says Grimm, “she has a huge heart and kind spirit. She is such a joy, even when she is in such pain.” Everybody has a story…and Destiny’s is one much bigger than Sickle Cell Disease. As she says, “I’m fortunate because for some people with Sickle Cell, pain crises can be much worse than mine.” Destiny’s story is one of song, of dance, and of joy. In addition to singing in her school choir and dancing on her church’s praise dance team, Destiny is an avid reader, enjoys sign language, and loves being a “normal” teenage girl. “Destiny’s future is going to be good due to advances in medical care,” concludes Dr. Pitts, “along with her determination, and the love and support of her family.” You can help children like Destiny Williams by supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. One hundred percent of the funds raised locally for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals stay at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System to provide life-saving pediatric equipment and medical services to children in our area.