◀ Prev
View All Articles
Next ▶
Events

Fraser's Friends

Celebrating Surgical Achievements at Texas Children’s Hospital

Guests gathered at the beautiful home of Bailey and Pete McCarthy for a special evening with Fraser’s Friends, a passionate philanthropic group dedicated to advancing patient care, education and research for the nine divisions of Texas Children’s Hospital’s surgical enterprise: Congenital Heart, Dental, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic, Otolaryngology, Pediatric General Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Urology.

Guests gathered at the beautiful home of Bailey and Pete McCarthy for a special evening with Fraser’s Friends, a passionate philanthropic group dedicated to advancing patient care, education and research for the nine divisions of Texas Children’s Hospital’s surgical enterprise: Congenital Heart, Dental, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic, Otolaryngology, Pediatric General Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Urology.

In a program featuring astonishing accounts of the work being done at Texas Children’s Hospital Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., for whom Fraser’s Friends is named, confidently delivered his own vision for the hospital’s future.

“Texas Children’s Hospital is poised to be the best,” he said. “Other children’s hospitals have had their time. It’s Texas Children’s time to be the leader.”

Citing incredible surgical achievements in 2016 (a staggering 30,810 surgeries and 87 transplants, including 27 heart transplants), Dr. Fraser explained that more and more, Texas Children’s is being recognized as having one of the preeminent surgical departments in the country.

He shared the stories of Ella Fondren and Lauren Dunwoody, two little girls who, if not for the expertise and ingenuity of the physicians and surgeons at Texas Children’s, might not have survived complex, life-threatening medical situations. He then turned the program back over to Bailey McCarthy, who not only hosted the event, but also experienced as a parent the life-saving care that Texas Children’s provides.

Bailey grew up just down the street from the Frasers and spent countless hours of her childhood in their home with Laura, the Frasers’ oldest daughter. Bailey recalled how even as a child, she knew that what Dr. Fraser did at the hospital was very important.

Years later, while living in Chicago, Bailey and her husband Pete discovered they were expecting their first child. They arrived to their 20-week ultrasound giddy with anticipation to learn if their baby was a boy or a girl. But the excitement quickly turned to concern when the technician found dark formations on the child’s tailbone. After a re-scan, it was determined that their daughter had sacrococcygeal terratoma (SCT), a tumor that develops during infancy in only one of 35,000 births. Rapid growth of the tumor can siphon blood from the fetus, putting strain on the heart or causing an overabundance of amniotic fluid, all of which can threaten the development and life of the child. Time was against them, and Bailey and Pete were told that their baby needed life-saving surgery as soon as possible.

With nowhere else to turn, Bailey made a desperate call to her childhood friend, Laura, who told her to call her father, Dr. Fraser. The next day, Bailey and Pete were on their way to Houston — and Texas Children’s Hospital.

For weeks, Bailey and the baby were carefully monitored by nursing and surgical teams. The condition required a level of expertise found in few hospitals in the country, and Texas Children’s had recently performed a successful SCT surgery. Bailey and Pete returned to Chicago to consider their options. But by week 28, the tumor had doubled in size, and fear of anemia in their unborn baby had grown. They decided to return to Houston to deliver their daughter.

Grace McCarthy was born at 39 weeks via C-section. Now the matter turned to the safe removal of her tumor. Three days after the birth, world-renowned surgeon Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye successfully performed the operation. After two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Grace was released, and the McCarthys went home for the first time as a family.

Their journey with Texas Children’s didn’t end there. Two years later, Bailey and Pete welcomed their second child, Harry, after a normal pregnancy. But after just three months, Harry exhibited symptoms of neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy (NEHI), a rare lung disease. Once again Bailey and Pete feared for their child’s life — and once again Texas Children’s was there to provide expert care and ensure that Harry would return to good health.

“That’s the gift Texas Children’s is able to give families,” Bailey McCarthy said. “We have to stop and remember how lucky we are.”

To close the event, Carol and Michael Linn, chairs for Promise: The Campaign for Texas Children’s Hospital, spoke to guests about the hospital’s continuing need for philanthropic support. They specifically cited two crucial Promise Campaign objectives: the construction of a world-class pediatric tower that will expand Texas Children’s critical, surgical and cardiac care services at the Texas Medical Center campus, and the all-important necessity to raise funds expressly for the recruitment and retention of the world’s finest doctors, surgeons and scientists.

“Mike and I made a promise: to devote ourselves to raising the funds necessary to make it possible for Texas Children’s Hospital to always have the capacity to accept critically ill children who need our help,” Carol Linn said.

Texas Children’s promise has always been to provide care for all children who need it. With the support of individuals and philanthropic groups like Fraser’s Friends, Texas Children’s will continue to carry out that mission and to offer the finest pediatric health care available.

Photo Gallery

Share this article: