Brett Palmatier-Myers, 16, has been battling advanced Ewing's sarcoma for almost three years. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery have helped eradicate the soft tissue cancer in identified sites, only to reappear elsewhere in the Haven High School junior’s body.
Brett has required multiple transfusions and hospitalizations, including one earlier this year at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. There, a sarcoma specialist removed his infected prosthetic left hip and then transferred him to Ascension Via Christi St. Francis to continue his recovery closer to home.
Staff arranged for Shelli Sturgeon, nationally certified in massage, to provide a therapeutic massage for Brett. The massages ease his nerve pain, anxiety, stress and chemo-related nausea, says Beth Schutte, RN, nursing manager for the ChildLife Center at St. Francis.
“It really helped relax him,” says his mother, Wendy Palmatier.
Brett was able to receive daily massages for the rest of his hospital stay, with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi covering the cost. “I was happy that he was able to get the massages at Via Christi and that CMN Hospitals paid for them,” says Wendy.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi helps approximately 50,000 sick and injured children and families throughout south-central and western Kansas each year.
It provides direct family assistance to children served by Via Christi's hospitals and clinics, and funds critically necessary equipment and supplies to enhance hospital care and staff education for clinicians who serve kids.