When your family partners with the pediatric hematology and oncology experts at Levine Children’s Hospital, you know you are getting compassionate, excellent care.
Our team includes doctors, nurses, research coordinators, social workers and pharmacists trained in the specialties of childhood cancer and blood disorders. We perform leading-edge medicine in our blood and marrow transplant program, conduct groundbreaking clinical trials, and offer stem cell, chemotherapy and radiation therapies – with some of the best outcomes in the region.
Shortly after Thanksgiving 2011, 18-month-old Emma Poplin-Revels spiked a high fever that sent her to the doctor’s office. Recurring fevers, rashes and unexplained leg pain during the following month led doctors to a frightening diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
She was admitted to Levine Children’s Hospital immediately and started taking chemotherapy 'naps,' called such because they made her sleepy.
Emma and Ashlynn
Throughout her three years of fighting leukemia, Emma had one cheerleader who never quit – big sister Ashlynn.
"As soon as Ashlynn would come visit, she would perk up and want to play," says mom Elizabeth. "She knew she was there to be the big sister, and she knew she was the only thing that made Emma get happy."
Elizabeth describes Emma as "a curveball queen," who had a lot of unexpected issues arise during her treatment. In addition to her oncologist, Emma saw experts from many other specialties, including surgery, nutrition and child life. During curveball moments, Elizabeth looked to Levine Children’s Hospital educator Kathryn Carson. "I think Kathryn understood me as a mother," she says. "She could interpret my feelings as a mom to the doctors. She was amazing."
When Emma and Ashlynn recently returned to Levine Children’s Hospital to deliver the product of a pajama drive held by Emma’s preschool, they saw many familiar faces.
"They all become family. The doctors and the nurses, but also housekeepers – they stayed consistent the whole time we were there," says Elizabeth. "You go back and the same people who cleaned your room are there and welcome you with a hug."
Now a year out of treatment, Emma is finally able to keep up with Ashlynn. No longer a shy little ‘baldhead’ – as she put it – Emma is a happy and energetic redheaded four year old who is excited to start kindergarten.
"She’s ready to ride the bus," says Elizabeth, who got a call from the elementary school nurse to see if any special accommodations needed to be made for Emma. "Getting to say, "No, we’re normal,’ was amazing. Even a year ago that seemed so foreign. But I think every day, and now every year, it’s going to get more and more easy to say."
With the most practice locations and some of the top pediatricians in the region, Carolinas HealthCare System is sure to have the perfect doctor for you and your child.Find A Doctor
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