Allison was only 6 weeks old when she suddenly became gravely ill. She was rushed to Seattle Children’s where she was diagnosed with Streptococcus Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Toxins in Allison’s blood – caused by the bacterium in common strep throat – led to an infection that threatened her life.

Her family was overwhelmed by this life-and-death situation. The only option was to place her on ECMO – a machine that provides cardiac and respiratory support while a patient’s heart or lungs heal – and ultimately Allison made a remarkable recovery.

“Words cannot fully express how much we appreciate the care our daughter received at Children’s,” says Allison’s mom, Wendy. “We truly believe the ECMO treatment and expertise are the reasons Allison is alive today.”

The compassionate experts at Children’s care for the sickest kids in our region every day. Last year alone, 734 critically ill patients were transferred by ground and air to Children’s because other hospitals depend on us when a child’s survival is at stake.

All too often, our critical care units are full. Since 2009 we have exceeded the recommended inpatient capacity 80% of the time; today, we can’t always be sure a critical care bed will be available when a child needs one.

We currently work around our capacity issues by placing more than one patient in a room; moving less critically ill patients to other units or other medical centers; and even postponing necessary surgeries.

The first phase of Building Hope: Cancer and Critical Care Expansion will enable us to make sure that we always have a bed available when critical illness or accident strikes.

The new, state-of-the-art facility will make room for the most vulnerable patients in our region by adding up to 32 critical care beds in single-occupancy rooms.