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UI Children's Hospital Ranked Among Highest in Nation
IOWA CITY (CBS 2/ FOX 28)--Natalie Johnson and her 13-year old daughter Reagen have been side by side in a hospital room at the Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa for the past six months.
“I haven’t been home since January,” Johnson said. “I told Reagen I wouldn’t go home until she went home. This is my home.”
Covered in get-well wishes and balloons, the room is where Natalie prays for her daughter to be healthy again. Reagen eats through a feeding tube and has two dialysis catheters on her legs.
The 13-year-old suffered a stroke during a heart transplant in January.
“She’s had several very close calls,” said the mother. “We had several times where we had to call in the family and say ‘this may be the last time.’”
But Reagen has made some progress, says her mom who thanks the heart surgeons and kidney specialists at the UI’s children’s hospital for keeping her daughter alive.
“It’s just a great place to be when you’re going through something like this,” Johnson said.
The children’s hospital has been ranked for the fifth year as one of the best in the nation.
“The greatest impact that you have is when you’re able to discharge a child or help them through the management of a chronic illness,” said Scott Turner, Executive Director of UICH.
According to U.S. News and World Report, UICH is a leader in seven pediatric specialties like cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes, and kidney transplants.
It’s a positive report hospital officials say shows in the more than 180,000 visits they get per year.
“We don’t need a survey to tell us that our patients are the best indicator of that,” Turner said.
And it’s that care that’s helped patients like Reagen get better and hold on to her dreams—even if it’s just to see her favorite singers.
“She’s like Justin Bieber or the band “One Direction” to come and visit with her,” Johnson said.