Teen, impressed and grateful for the care she receives on the Youngsters’s Hospital, hopes to grow to be a Pediatric Nurse – CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An old soul with unparalleled strength, courage and determination. This is how we would describe 13 year old Kyree Beachem from Ellwood City.
She is our junior co-host for the 67th annual charity show of the Children’s Hospital’s Free Care Fund.
The fact that Kyree is still alive today is a miracle.
Kyree was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, a birth defect in which the colon lacks the nerve endings that help food get through the body.
When she was only 2 years old, she had a small bowel transplant at the UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, but that transplant failed. She waited for another transplant for the next five years.
The entire time she was on IV fluids almost around the clock.
“I couldn’t go swimming because I had an IV. I couldn’t ride bikes like normal kids, ”said Kyree.
Kyree’s mother Nan watched helplessly as her daughter slowly disappeared.
“You never know when that call will come and you watch your child get sicker every day,” she said.
When that call came for a second transplant, Kyree had liver failure and was very ill.
This time, the doctors at the children’s hospital transplanted not only her small intestine, but also her large intestine, pancreas, and liver. But because she was so sick, it took her body two more years to pass eight rounds of rejection.
Watch Kyree’s appearance on PTL:
Kyree was healthy for a few years.
Then, about a year ago, she suffered a ninth denial. She also came through in the hospital after a few months of recovery.
Today Kyree and her mother approach each day with cautious optimism.
“She’s fine right now, so we just take the good days when we have them and that carries us through the bad days,” said Nan.
And they are grateful to the children’s hospital.
Kyree said, “You feel like family to me. You take care of the kids so well. “
“I don’t know if you can sum up what you’ve done just in our family, and then look at family by family who’ve touched you. They literally change life every day. And Kyree wouldn’t be here without her, ”Nan said.
Kyree has big plans for the future. She wants to become a nurse in the children’s hospital.
“I just feel like I can help these kids feel better,” said Kyree.
Kyree’s circle comes full circle, which comes as no surprise to those who know her best.
Nan said, “She has a very, very strong will. She’s just a great kid. “
While Kyree still has a few years to go before she graduates with that nursing degree, she’s already giving back to children at the Children’s Hospital.
She’s spent more Christmas in the hospital than at home, and knowing what it is like to be in the hospital on vacation, she raised $ 2,000 this year to buy gifts from the hospital’s vacation wish list for all patients .
And for any child suffering from an illness, Kyree shares some advice that she has used to help manage all of their health issues.
“You just have to believe that you can stay strong. Just be tough, ”she said.