LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2010) − Kentucky's 2010 Children's Miracle Network Champion, Abby Martin, was crowned "Kentucky Children’s Hospital Little Princess" by Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent at her "Princess" Send-off Party on Monday, Nov.1. Martin leaves, with her family, for Orlando, Fla. to participate in the national television production of the Children's Miracle Network Celebration, Nov. 11-13 at Walt Disney World.
Each year, Children’s Miracle Network selects a child from every state to participate in its Champions program. These ambassadors, known as Champions, represent the 17 million children treated annually at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Champions have faced a variety of injuries and illnesses, and the diversity of ages, backgrounds and medical ailments is representative of the incredible specialized health care available at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals across the country.
"Abby has a loveable, vibrant personality," said Aimee Baston, manager of annual giving and Children’s Miracle Network at Kentucky Children's Hospital. "Her precious smile radiates from her father’s arms almost every time I see her. Although she cannot communicate verbally, her expressions eloquently convey her thoughts making her impossible to overlook. Her small-framed glasses and fashionable attire sets off that infectious persona which enables 'Miss Abby' to be the spotlight of any occasion."
Immediately after she was born, at 36 weeks' gestation, Abby was transported to Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she began her series of developmental surgeries. She immediately had heart and stomach surgeries just to keep her alive. She had 25 surgeries within the first two years of her life. When she was born, her esophagus, which normally travels from mouth to stomach, traveled from her windpipe to an unattached ending. This kept her from being able to eat normally and required surgical reconstruction and a feeding tube.
Click here to learn more about Abby and see an interview with her family.
Kentucky Children’s Hospital at the University of Kentucky cares for children from across the state. Annually, this academic medical center composed of 57 specialists and subspecialists admits more than 6,000 patients and cares for an additional 60,000 children through clinics. It is a major provider of pediatric care in Kentucky and referral center for children with life-threatening illnesses or injuries, with physicians traveling to outreach clinics throughout the area to provide health care and education in cardiology, diabetes, asthma and neurology.