Children's Miracle Network Features Rachel Fister

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Once she stabilized she was sedated in the ICU at UK Children’s Hospital. Before exploring the inside of the trachea and the esophagus to determine where the hole was, her lungs needed to strengthen. Three days later, physicians performed exploratory surgery and could not find a hole anywhere. They determined that the hole was either very small or had healed itself already. Two days later Rachel’s tubes were taken out and she was released with no restrictions. She went home and recovered for another week to get stronger and then was back to her healthy, happy, normal activities including playing with her brothers, attending school, taking dance classes, and swimming.

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"Hospital Benefits from CMN Celebration"

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2004) -- Rachel Fister, 5, daughter of Paul and Rhonda, of Lexington, will be featured as a “champion” during the 2004 Children’s Miracle Network Celebration June 18-19.

Before heading off to bed one December evening, Rachel and her brothers, Chaz, 10, and Blake, 8, were playing around and tossing a miniature beach ball in a bedroom. One of her brothers threw the ball to Rachel and missed. Rachel turned to get it and fell into a desk chair hitting her throat. As she hit the chair she put a hole in her trachea, which caused air to leak out of her lungs and into other tissue.

Rachel’s brothers ran downstairs to tell their father what had happened to her. Her eyes, face and head immediately began to swell and Mr. Fister called 911.

Within five minutes, she was rushed to the emergency department at the University of Kentucky Hospital. Rachel remained calm while struggling to breathe.

“We know it is a miracle she made it to the hospital on time,” said Mrs. Fister. “All the professionals at UK made the correct decisions to treat her in the fashion they did. We’re thankful we live so close to such a wonderful facility.”

While in the emergency room, x-rays were taken and Rachel was rushed off to surgery. The physicians and nurses knew that her lungs were collapsing and that within a few minutes her heart would stop.

Once Rachel reached the surgery room her heart had stopped. A breathing tube was placed into her windpipe and C PR was performed. Rachel also had chest tubes to inflate her lungs since they had collapsed. Her neck was then surgically opened to evaluate the injured windpipe.

“The fact that Rachel lives so close to UK Children’s Hospital and that the hospital has a competent staff who were here and able to handle Rachel’s condition makes her a lucky girl,” said Richard C. Haydon, professor of surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, UK Hospital.

Once she stabilized she was sedated in the ICU at UK Children’s Hospital. Before exploring the inside of the trachea and the esophagus to determine where the hole was, her lungs needed to strengthen. Three days later, physicians performed exploratory surgery and could not find a hole anywhere. They determined that the hole was either very small or had healed itself already. Two days later Rachel’s tubes were taken out and she was released with no restrictions. She went home and recovered for another week to get stronger and then was back to her healthy, happy, normal activities including playing with her brothers, attending school, taking dance classes, and swimming.

“Rachel has always been a healthy, happy girl all of her life,” said Mrs. Fister. “It was amazing how she bounced back from the experience. We know she is our miracle!”

Rachel and other children will be recognized as “champions” during the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration, which will be broadcast 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.

During the broadcast, the program will feature and celebrate the triumphs 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 (859) 272-2220 or toll-free (800) 474-4132 to make a donation. To make a donation before or after the Celebration is being broadcast, or to receive more information about the Children’s Miracle Network, call (859) 257-1121.


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