Hospital Benefits from CMN Celebration

Contact: Amy Gilliam

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Photo of Ryan Gallagher
Ryan Gallagher

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When Ryan was taken out of intensive care, he could not talk, walk or communicate with anyone, but with the help of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and a dietician he made a complete recovery.

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For profiles of Blake Roberts and other Kentucky children being featured on the Children's Miracle Network broadcast, click below:

Blake Roberts

Jason Morgan

Kendyl Hippe

Rachel Fister

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2004) -- Several Kentucky children will be recognized as “champions” during the 2004 Children’s Miracle Network Celebration, broadcast live June 18-19 from Applebee’s Park in Lexington on WKYT-TV, channel 27 ( Lexington), and WYMT-TV, channel 57 (Hazard). Co-hosts are Barbara Bailey and Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV and Stacy McCloud of WYMT-TV.

One of the children who will be featured as a “champion” is Ryan Gallagher, 3, son of Chris and Kristin Gallagher, of Lexington. In September 2003, Ryan’s mother noticed he was running a high fever. The fever subsided and then returned a few days later. Ryan’s mother and father decided after the fever returned that they would take Ryan to the doctor the next day.

That evening, Ryan’s parents were putting him and his twin brother, Sean, to bed. As they settled Sean into bed, they noticed it looked like Ryan had passed out. Ryan then started seizing. Ryan’s mother immediately called 911, and he was rushed to the University of Kentucky Hospital Emergency Department.

“We knew there was nothing we could do for Ryan,” said Kristin Gallagher. “As a parent, there isn't anything more profound, more terrifying, than putting your child’s life in someone else’s hands.”

Ryan was diagnosed with viral meningoencephalitis, or swelling of the brain, and required ventilator support and tube feeding in the UK Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

“Viral meningoencephalitis is not rare, but what Ryan had was unusual because it affected the lower portion of his brain,” said William C. Robertson, M.D., professor of neurology and pediatrics, UK College of Medicine. “This resulted in long periods of time of not waking up.”

When Ryan was taken out of intensive care, he could not talk, walk or communicate with anyone, but with the help of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and a dietician he made a complete recovery.

“Our goal was to help Ryan do the things he could do before he was admitted to UK Children’s Hospital,” said Bridgette Hibbs, Ryan’s nurse while he was at UK Children’s Hospital. “It’s rewarding to see a child in Ryan’s condition recover from his illness day-by-day.”

“We were extremely confident in the doctors, nurses and staff at UK Children’s Hospital,” said Kristin Gallagher. “We felt included in his treatment and encouraged to ask questions and assist in his care. Nothing we do or say could ever convey how thankful we are to them.”

Now with his health and lots of energy, Ryan’s main interest is building with his hammer and saw and playing with his twin brother Sean.

Both Ryan and Sean love Toy Story, said their mother. Last Halloween, Ryan dressed as Buzz Light Year. He still enjoys dressing in his Buzz Light Year costume and “flies” around the house saying, “To infinity and beyond!”

The broadcast will feature and celebrate the triumphs of several of UK’s young patients and the health issues they are facing. The annual program will not only recognize the children as champions, but also the many people who champion children, such as families, health professionals, individuals, volunteers and donors.

The celebration will be broadcast from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 18, and from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 19.

During televised hours of the celebration, call toll-free (877) 862-5444 to make a donation. To make a donation before or after the Celebration is broadcast, call (859) 257-1121 or go to www.uky.edu/Home/cmn.htm. To receive more information about the Children’s Miracle Network, call (859) 257-1121.


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