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news News Friday, June 19, 2020 Friday, June 19, 2020 11:50 AM - Friday, June 19, 2020 11:50 AM

Patient Ambassador Camryn: Where is she now?

Patient Ambassador Camryn: Where is she now?

In 2018, we brought you the story of Camryn, who at the age of 11 contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a serious skin infection that kills the soft tissue. If not caught and treated quickly, necrotizing fasciitis can be fatal. After initial treatment at her local hospital, Camryn was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital and transferred to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston for specialized care. Under the care of Robert L. Sheridan, M.D., and his multidisciplinary team, Camryn underwent numerous surgeries and rehabilitative treatments, including daily visits to a hyperbaric chamber for oxygen therapy to help heal her wounds. A skin graft and the dedicated efforts of the hospital staff eventually allowed Camryn to return home to her family.

Camryn, now almost 16, shared her gratitude to the Boston Shriners Hospital by serving as a patient ambassador at the 40th annual Aleppo Shriners All-Star Football Classic in 2018. She also participated in the Spartan Race at Fenway Park with #TeamNoLimits that same year. We recently checked in with Camryn and her mother, Kara, to find out what they are up to these days.

How are things? Tell us about your interests and hobbies.

I just finished my sophomore year in high school. I love sports and play volleyball and softball. My father is my coach and last year we won the Western Massachusetts Championship for softball. These days I like to binge watch TV – especially Grey’s Anatomy. I also like to play basketball at home with my brother, Max (12), and sister, Molly (8).

I will start to look at colleges next year. I am not sure exactly what I want to do, but I have a strong interest in the medical field. I would love the possibility to intern some day at the Springfield Shriners Hospital.

Do you have updates to your experience as a Shriners Hospitals for Children patient since we shared your story in 2018?

I had reconstructive surgery with Dr. Dan Driscoll. I am very happy that I went through the process and with the outcome. My family and I miss having appointments – we loved seeing the staff and always enjoyed going to a new restaurant in Boston on my appointment days!

What are some of your favorite memories of the Boston Shriners Hospital

My favorite memories are the nurses and the child life specialists. They helped me so much and were always there to make me smile. Shriners Hospital means so much to me because they helped me and so many other children.

This question is for your mom. Kara, what has your experience as a parent been like?

Shriners will always hold a special place in my heart. During our time there, the staff felt like family. I loved seeing families from all around the world being treated. Camryn was in three different hospitals. Shriners was different and so special. The entire staff is so friendly and all have a deep interest in every patient. Every patient has a unique story and experience.

How are you and your family managing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have taken the COVID-19 pandemic day by day. I have had a lot of online schoolwork to do, including the AP biology exam. I am disappointed that we missed softball season this year but look forward to nice weather to get outside. I look forward to spending time at the beach and with my friends this summer.

Is there anything else you wish to share?

My whole family is forever grateful for what the doctors, nurses and therapists did for me. In fact, my grandmother recently held a fundraiser for the hospital. She and friends from her condo association wanted to hold a basket raffle fundraiser to support a charity. Her friends were familiar with my story and thought it was a great idea. It turns out that within the group there was a woman who had a connection as well. She had been a patient at Massachusetts General Hospital many years ago and her doctor went on to become the chief of staff at the Boston Shriners Hospital. It was the perfect fit and all the money was donated to the hospital. This part of my life is over and I am completely healed, but I will never forget my memories of Shriners, and will always remember what I overcame.