You can help kids like Payton Avery
Throughout Rebecca Childress’ pregnancy with her firstborn, Payton Avery, all ultrasounds and checkups were great. Like any new mom, she was thrilled to have a healthy pregnancy and thriving baby. However, when Payton Avery was born, Rebecca, a special needs teacher at the time, knew in her gut something wasn’t right.
At each of Payton Avery’s doctor visits, she checked out just fine, and all the while, Rebecca voiced concerns about her development. At 8 months, she completely stopped having bowel movements and by 17 months, she still wasn’t walking.
Once they began attempting to potty train, the Childresses knew something had to give. They were grateful for their pediatrician who listened to their concerns and referred them to a pediatric urologist and a pediatric neurosurgeon.
Within weeks, they learned 3‐year‐old Payton Avery was missing the bottom portion of her spine, which impaired development in the lower half of the body. As a result, her bladder and bowels were simply unable to function correctly.
Now 7, Payton Avery has gone through countless hospitalizations and seven surgeries at Le Bonheur, including one to re‐route her intestines and place catheters. She has more surgeries in her future, but for now this second grader is feeling great and doing well in school.
While this has been a challenging time, Payton Avery is thankful for “her hospital.” When she sees the Le Bonheur heart out in public, she’s quick to ask others why they visited the hospital and tell them how much it’s helped her.
Payton Avery, her parents, and her two little sisters love being a part of the Le Bonheur Pumpkin Run, which occurs around her birthday every year. The family and their friends collect items to donate to the hospital and have been fortunate enough to have friends donate home grown pumpkins to the cause.
They are grateful for a way to give back to the place that’s done so much for Payton Avery.