When she was only three months old, Bruna was diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor called ganglioglioma. Her parents worked tirelessly to find the care she needed in Bolivia where they lived but were unable to get the highly specialized treatments their daughter’s tumor required. Despite many obstacles, including a worldwide pandemic, they traveled to Nicklaus Children’s in Miami, where a clinical trial for children with ganglioglioma was under way. Bruna’s tumor responded well to the therapy, giving her parents hope that their daughter will lead a happy, normal life.
“Bruna is a great example of the highly specialized pediatric care we provide,” says Nicklaus Children’s Health System President and CEO Matthew A. Love. “Patients and their families know that at Nicklaus Children’s, they receive the very best healthcare right here in South Florida. In fact, close to half a million patients from all 50 U.S. states, D.C., and 119 countries come to us each year to receive the expert care they need and deserve.”
Nicklaus Children’s world-class pediatric healthcare is backed by four specialized institutes: the Brain Institute, Heart Institute, Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute, and Orthopedic, Sports Health and Spine Institute. These institutes are centers of excellence within Nicklaus Children’s and combine rigorous research and clinical trials with the most advanced, compassionate patient care.
The Institute’s highly skilled neurosurgeons and neurologists have decades of experience in caring for the most complex conditions. The brain experts have been responsible for several first-in-the-world procedures in children. The Pediatric Epilepsy Center is a global leader for treating epilepsy in children and offers the latest medical and surgical interventions to help children with epileptic seizures.
The Institute’s experts have performed more than 8,700 open-heart surgeries since 1995 and offer innovative, less invasive approaches for the treatment of heart disease. They care for some of the most complex heart defects and have developed surgical procedures later adopted by other institutions across the nation.
Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute
The Institute cares for more than 150 newly diagnosed patients each year and is involved in more than 80 clinical trials for pediatric cancer research studies. It is one of few centers in the state to offer the latest immune cell treatment for children and adolescents with certain types of leukemia. The Institute also includes a neuro-oncology program dedicated to the treatment of children with difficult-to-treat brain tumors.
Orthopedic, Sports Medicine, and Spine Institute
The Institute’s physicians perform more than 1,300 surgical procedures each year. It is one of only a few centers in the nation involved in a clinical trial for fusionless spinal surgery. This leading-edge technique for scoliosis correction in children and adolescents uses a vertical body tether to correct scoliosis rather than using traditional spinal fusion techniques.
“Our nearly 800 pediatric physicians are proud to serve the South Florida community at the only freestanding children’s hospital in the region, so that patients and their families don’t need to travel outside of the state to have access to the most novel and complex procedures and treatments,” says Chad Perlyn, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, FACS, president of Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists and a pediatric plastic surgeon. “Our Nicklaus Children’s experts use, and often have developed, some of the most advanced technologies and approaches that were later adopted by others around the world. It speaks to our spirit of innovation and excellence in patient care.”
To learn more about Nicklaus Children’s Health System, visit nicklauschildrens.org.