Ambassador Highlight: Meet Elyse
At first, Elyse Hancock’s pediatrician thought she had a virus that would need to run its course. When the 2-year-old didn’t get better, her pediatrician ordered routine blood work that showed that she was severely anemic. Elyse was rushed to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital by ambulance to have a battery of tests performed.
Test results revealed that Elyse had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that starts in premature white blood cells in the bone marrow and quickly invades the blood. She spent several weeks in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment to help eradicate the cancerous cells.
While medical experts worked to treat Elyse, Child Life experts stepped in to help her comprehend what was happening. The UF Health Child Life team gifted Elyse a special stuffed duck with a port-o-cath so she could better understand her treatment and to help ease her concerns. see what her doctors would be doing.
Once Elyse was discharged from the hospital, her mother continued to be impressed with the Child Life team as they continued care in the outpatient clinics.
“Child Life Specialist Jenna Priest would distract Elyse while her port was being accessed and really helped in keeping me sane,” Elyse’s mother said.
Elyse completed chemotherapy treatment in October 2012. She gets routine blood work every six months and continues to be cancer-free!
Thanks to the care she received at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, Elyse is now a happy and healthy kid who loves reading scary stories, making forts out of cardboard boxes and playing with her sister and friends.