South Florida Hospital News
Thursday January 23, 2020
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January 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 7

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Leukemia Patient is Firefighter for a Day

Medical caregivers from Salah Foundation’s Children’s Hospital’s surprised 6-year-old leukemia patient, Dylan Lindsey, when he arrived at the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic. Instead of his regular appointment, Dylan became an honorary firefighter for the day. Office supervisor Michelle Saldivar and licensed clinical social worker Melissa Stachowiak came up with the idea after talking to Dylan’s mom about his dream to become a firefighter.

“Every day he passes a fire station by our home and says that’s his future job,” said Katrice Eason, Dylan’s mom.
 
Dylan was diagnosed in March 2019 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is undergoing treatment at Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital. Dylan is currently in remission and in the first year of a three-year treatment.
 
The staff teamed up with local fire stations and set up the surprise event on Thursday, November 7. Firefighters from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, along with physicians, nurses and the Child Life team, surprised Dylan as he walked into the clinic.
 
He was given fire rescue gear and a badge. Led by Fort Lauderdale Fire Department Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, Dylan was given a tour of various fire trucks and rescue vehicles. To his delight, Dylan was able to spray water using the fire engine’s hose as well as get onto a ladder. He was also able to ride in a Pompano Beach Fire Rescue vehicle and blow the siren.
 
“Watching Dylan today was amazing and reminds us why we do what we do and why we are here caring for the patients,” said Saldivar.
 
“This event meant hope,” said Eason. “It means that this is the beginning for him and it isn’t the end. It gave him a chance to see that dreams do come true.”
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