Miracle Children

Seeing children go home healthy is the reward for the many dollars and volunteer hours given to Children's Miracle Network (CMN). Each year, CMN asks children previously treated at UMC to share their "miracle story." These stories help provide a glimpse into the many ways CMN and UMC help to make miracles every day. Read about our 2019 Miracle Children below.


Brixton Marshall

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At 20 weeks of pregnancy, Brixton’s mother, Eileen, went in to have an ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. During that ultrasound, a black mass was found; it turned out to be the baby Brixton’s bladder. He had a blockage and his bladder was inflated to a size bigger than his head.

Brixton’s parents were given two options for his diagnosis with no intervention: drive eight hours to Albuquerque to terminate the pregnancy, or carry him full term with the possibility of him suffocating due to a lack of lung development. Eileen and Brixton’s father, Mikey, decided to get another opinion and consulted Dr. Edward Yeomans, a Texas Tech Physician who specializes in high-risk pregnancy at UMC.

Dr. Yeomans offered two more options: operate on the baby while still in the womb and surgically place a shunt inside Brixton that would allow his bladder to drain through a small hose, or perform vesicocentesis—they chose the second option. They removed 80 ccs of urine from his bladder using ultrasound and a large needle. This procedure allowed Brixton to urinate at 28 weeks in utero.

Brixton was born on December 21, 2017. It was determined he had chronic kidney disease, prune belly syndrome, hydronephrosis, hyperkalemia and failure to thrive. He sees pediatric urologist, Dr. Cynthia Smith regularly. He recently traveled to Cook Children’s Medical Center to trial dialysis.

The current plan is to get Brixton to meet a weight requirement of 22 pounds to be able to be considered for a kidney transplant. Eileen will be his transplant donor.


Will Jordan

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On Saturday, September 1, 2018, the Jordan family was visiting relatives in Snyder, TX. While on their visit, they planned and prepared to go dove hunting, as it was opening day of the season.

Will and his mother, Kristi, drove in their UTV to dump an ice chest. They did not put seatbelts on as the vehicle does not exceed 15 miles per hour with seatbelts unbuckled. Although the ride was short, the vehicle skidded on some gravel. Will jumped out of the vehicle as it began turning on its side. The vehicle landed on Will’s lower leg, pinning it to the ground. The impact also broke Kristi’s arm.

Thankfully, a relative had just received their Registered Nurse license and was employed by UMC. She made a tourniquet for Will’s leg. A helicopter arrived to take him to UMC. He had a broken tibia, degloving of his lower leg. He later suffered kidney and gall stones.

Dr. Diab performed Will’s first surgery that night. Will spent four days in UMC’s Pediatric ICU and 10 days on our Pediatric floor. He, later, had four additional hospitalizations. In total, Will spent 24 days at UMC and has undergone 14 surgeries.

Will is making strides toward recovery! He was able to go back to school in January, after spending the first semester being home-bound. He continues physical therapy and is now able to use crutches.


Austyn Montgomery

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On June 24, 2018, Austyn, her mother, Nova, and her boyfriend, Brayden, were headed from Coahoma, TX to Borger for a day of fun. Her father, Les, was slightly ahead of them on his motorcycle. Les arrived to Ralls but noticed the pickup, with his family in it, was no longer behind him. He called all three of their cell phones with no answer. He turned around and drove the direction he had just come from.

Moments later, Les arrived to the scene of an accident, which involved the truck Austyn and the others were in. Austyn was sitting on the highway at the time. She knew her leg was broken and that she possibly had other injuries. Nova and Brayden did not make it.

Helicopters arrived to take Austyn to UMC. She had a broken femur, 4 broken ribs and badly bruised legs. Later, her kidneys began shutting down. Austyn was in very critical condition and placed in a medically-induced coma for three weeks. During her stay, she received 36 units of blood, had a tracheotomy and feeding tube. She was then placed on ECMO, a heart-lung bypass machine, which is a last resort procedure. Austyn was the first teen at UMC to be placed on ECMO.

Austyn spent 42 days in the Pediatric ICU and 10 days in rehabilitation, however she survived and shows little physical effect! She even has begun running, again, in hopes of participating in track in the spring.


Isaiah Lara

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In the fall of 2017, Isaiah was complaining of pain in his left leg that wouldn’t go away; the pain kept him awake at night. Isaiah thought he must have hurt himself while playing basketball. Upon being checked by a doctor, he was referred to do physical therapy, but the therapist did not think it would help.

On December 12th, the doctor ordered x-rays. Isaiah’s family was told there was a suspicious mass on his femur. Shortly after Christmas, he went in for a biopsy and port placement—Isaiah was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He was admitted to the hospital in January for his first round of chemotherapy. 

On April 3, 2018, just two days before Isaiah’s 15th birthday, Dr. George Brindley, Texas Tech Physicians Orthopaedic Surgeon, surgically removed his femur and did a human bone transplant with a metal rod. Isaiah continued to receive chemotherapy every Tuesday at UMC until September 19, 2018, when he rang the bell. He has now been cancer free for 8 months! He continues to have regular checkups with Dr. Kishor Bhende, Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at UMC’s cancer center.


Makayla Pierson

On July 4, 2018, Makayla was visiting friends in Spring Lake/Earth, Texas. She was riding as a passenger in an ATV when the vehicle flipped. Her right hand was severely damaged (de-gloved). Thankfully, a friend at the scene was able to make a tourniquet from a belt, to help stop bleeding.

Makayla was transported to UMC by ambulance. After arriving to UMC’s Emergency Center, doctors told her family they were going to have to take her hand. Dr. Desirae McKee, Texas Tech Physicians Hand Surgeon, was called in, and she determined the hand could possibly be saved. 

Dr. McKee performed Makayla’s first surgery that night. She has now had a total of five surgeries and has been in occupational therapy for nine months. She is still somewhat limited in what she can do with her right hand.  Makayla will soon graduate from Abernathy High School and plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall. She plans to go into the medical field.


Robert “Bubba” Johnson

When Bayleigh was six months pregnant with Robert, “Bubba,” she had to go to Dallas for a fetal echocardiogram and an MRI. Results of this appointment showed Robert had Vater Syndrome, an acronym that refers five different areas in which a child may have abnormalities: vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus and renal (kidneys).

Robert was born 3 ½ weeks early and was immediately placed in UMC’s NICU. He had his first of 27 surgeries when was just three days old. 

In 2017, when he was 7 years old, Robert choked on a piece of corn dog that became stuck in his esophagus, so he was sent from Amarillo to Lubbock via ambulance. Dr. John B. Fitzwater was able to remove the corndog and dilate Robert’s esophagus. Dr. Fitzwater also performed surgery to repair his anus. Robert wore a colostomy bag for eight months.

Robert is living a normal healthy life! He continues to see Dr. McGill, Pediatric Surgeon, every few months for follow-up visits.


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