Noah Voiles was just 4 months old when he contracted meningitis and required immediate medical attention. Doctors at another hospital recognized the severity of his case and sent him to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. It was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) that Noah and his family met the first of many doctors and nurses who would become a part of their team, and in turn, their family.
Born with a number of medical complications, Noah has become a regular at Children’s. At age 2 he had open heart surgery to close the holes in his heart. He also has cerebral palsy, which requires he meet with a physical therapist every summer to assess his progress. Noah has a team of doctors he sees when he comes to Children’s Hospital, but physicians are only one part of his hospital family.
The nurses in the PICU always recognize Noah in the hallways—he loves to stop and talk with them. In addition, one of the hospital’s security officers often sits with the family on her lunch break to keep them company. The housekeeping staff has a soft spot in their hearts for Noah, too, going out of their way to say hello.
Noah also looks forward to his physical therapy appointments because he gets to spend time with Michael, his favorite therapist. Children’s physical therapists also took care of Noah’s sister, Michaela, when she broke her arm. Recently, Michaela has been shadowing members of the team that she hopes to one day be a part of. The embrace of the entire hospital helped the family through some of their toughest times.
“Having to be at a hospital is a scary thing,” says Noah and Michaela's mom, Cathy. “But when your kids trust the people taking care of them, you can’t imagine how much better it makes a mom feel.”
Now 12 years old, Noah enjoys the same things as most boys his age. He loves smart phones, riding his adaptive bike, playing catch, and watching TV. And he would never turn down a cheeseburger or sweet tea if offered! Noah and his family have touched countless lives at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, making his one of the most recognizable faces in the building—with a smile that brightens all of the hospital’s hallways.