Jacob Byrd
Mobile County
Not Feature Story
The Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast was dessimated after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 leaving many medical care providers stretched thin to cover the coast from Mississippi to Florida. Jacob had become noticeably ill with weight loss, bruising, fever, chills, and often, pain. We waited three months in our hometown to see a doctor only to find out that we did not have the "referral" we needed while sitting in the specialist's office that day. Our pediatrician sent Jacob to see Dr. Stephen King and Carey Cavendar in Birmingham and subsequently underwent immediate diagnostic care for leukemia, surgery and treatment at Children's Hospital. A delay in his care could have been a matter of life and death if not for these caring physicians and staff and the proper referrals to get him the care he required. Jacob underwent 83 chemo treatments, surgery, and ongoing infusion therapies for almost two years before we turned the corner and he has once again become a normal, healthy 9 year old with an excellent prognosis. No parent ever wants to hear the diagnosis of leukemia but our worries were lessened and our hopes turned into triumphs through God's grace, prayers and support of family and loved ones, and very importantly the physicians and staff at Children's Hospital.