Nemours Children's Hospital celebrates 1st birthday

Patients were the stars in Hollywood-inspired anniversary celebration

ORLANDO, Fla. - Nemours Children's Hospital celebrated one year of treating patients on Tuesday.

The anniversary celebration was Hollywood-inspired and the patients were the stars. They even got to walk a red carpet and pose for pictures.

Through the music, smiles and birthday cake, there was something even bigger to celebrate: The success stories Nemours has seen in just a year.

Eleven-year-old Grace Beach of Melbourne had spent almost a year and visits with seven different doctors trying to find out why she had chronic knee pain.

But now she's back dancing after a pediatric interventional radiologist used a minimally invasive procedure to find a tumor in Beach's knee. Using a small incision he removed the growth, and almost instantly Beach says she felt better.

"It didn't hurt and the next day, I was walking," said Beach.

Beach now hopes to become a scientist, based on her experience with the doctor who operated on her knee.

"I'm either going to be a doctor or a scientist," she said. "I really want to go into one of those fields because it is really inspiring to know that a doctor can make that much of an impact on somebody's life."

Nemours Chief Executive Officer Roger Oxendale said the hospital has treated 14,000 patients in its emergency room, a number he said is significant given the short time the facility has been open.

Oxendale said he's working to bring more specialties to Nemours, ones to add to the array of doctors the hospital already says are unique in Central Florida.

"One such program is our cardiac surgery program, and over the next few years we'll be completing our plans and recruiting to get that program up and running," said Oxendale.

Oxendale also added he believes the number of ER visits demonstrates the need for Nemours in the South Orlando area, since he says people visit ERs because they're in close proximity.

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