Heart Center Archives – On the Pulse


Two weeks before their 3-month-old son was scheduled for his second open-heart surgery, Kyle and Samantha Hatch learned that their daughter likely had neuroblastoma.

Things are looking up for the Hatch family. William (left) celebrated his first birthday in May – a milestone for children with his heart condition. While Penny still has a few months of treatment for neuroblastoma, her hair is growing back and her nasogastric (NG) tube has come out. Yet getting to this point has not been easy.

“We were completely shattered,” Samantha said. “But we had to put everything together for our children.”

After Penny’s tumor was found on her MRI, she needed a biopsy to definitively diagnose what providers suspected was cancer.

On August 11, 2020, Penny checked into Seattle Children’s Hospital for the procedure. It was the last time Samantha and Kyle saw their daughter walking.

After a tumor sample was taken, Penny was released. But at home, Samantha said her daughter started screaming in pain. “She couldn’t stand up and was in unbearable pain. I thought, ‘This is not normal. We’re going back.

Penny was quickly readmitted to Seattle Children’s for pain management. Watching Kyle hold her in the hospital, Samantha noticed Penny kicking her left leg while her right leg hung limp.

“It was terrifying,” Samantha said. “She couldn’t move it.”

The biopsy caused Penny’s tumor to bulge and press against nerves in her spinal cord, paralyzing her right leg. To make matters worse, the biopsy confirmed that Penny did in fact have high-risk neuroblastoma. Read full article »


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