When Kira Bailey was four years old, her parents, Jill and David found her to be more tired than other kids her age. She had a hernia removed, but after that, things still didn’t seem right as she was in a lot of pain. Further testing revealed a diagnosis that would change all of their lives.
“It was pretty surreal. Jill got the call from Kira’s family doctor that they needed to go to the hospital right away,” recalls David. “You look back and realize that that was the hardest day of your life.”
Kira was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and treatment needed to begin right away. The Baileys, who live in Chilton, were presented with a choice: they could take Kira to Milwaukee for her care, or they could go to HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay. By choosing HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital where the pediatric hematology oncology clinic is part of HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers, the Baileys were able to get the same level of high-quality cancer care for Kira, but remain closer to home.
For the Baileys, this was the right choice as proven by the incredible bonds formed with Kira’s care team at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital.
“I remember Child Life swooped in right away when we got to St. Vincent and they were a life saver,” recalls Jill. “They did so many special things to make Kira feel welcome and comfortable. Then, we met the doctors and nurses, and everyone was so good at communicating with us every step of the way and letting us know what was going on.”
Jill and David also appreciated that they could be a part of each step in Kira’s treatment.
“Watching those procedures was hard, but we liked that we could be present when she would have spinal taps, sedations, or other procedures,” said Jill. “They would also teach us, as parents, how we could react to each phase of her treatment and how to be there for Kira.”
Kira completed more than two years of treatment in December 2013, and today remains cancer-free. While the Baileys have returned to a more normal life outside of the hospital, they say they will never forget the care and compassion shown to Kira and their family during Kira’s treatment.
“They made her comfortable. They made us feel like a family. They made everything individualized for us, and made us feel really special,” said Jill. “I would do anything to thank them. They saved our daughter.”