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"I can never thank her enough."


June 20, 2016
Topics: Riley Kid Story



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Valerie Kraft, Carmel, Ind.

There are only a few doctors that have been in my life as long as Dr. Michelle Howenstine, and an even smaller number who have made as much of an impact in my life. Dr. Howenstine has known me for a little under a decade, and for as long as I can remember she’s always been one of my favorite doctors – which is saying a lot given how many doctors I see. 

When I was in fourth grade, I was diagnosed with asthma and a vocal chord dysfunction, which subsequently triggered over a year’s worth of constant pulmonary function testing, stress tests, office visits and breathing training. Since then, Dr. Howenstine has been a crucial member of the group of doctors that compose my complex care team. 

On countless occasions, she has gone above and beyond to check in with me, to see how I’m feeling (not just physically) and to do everything in her power to provide me with a plan of treatment. Throughout every crisis over the years, she’s always been just a phone call away, ready to work with my family and I to help manage the issue as quickly as possible.

Despite the fact that my pulmonary issues are mild compared to my other conditions, they still brought extensive fears along with them. Dr. Howenstine was always able to guide me through those stressful times with the help of her calm and comforting personality. Not being able to breathe is such a scary experience, and Dr. Howenstine helped ease my fears throughout my treatment. I can never thank her enough for doing so much to make that initial year after diagnosis not as overwhelming as it could have been, especially for a kid with anxiety. 

Time and time again, whether it was staying after hours to answer numerous questions, or following up after a particularly stressful appointment or test, the little things that Dr. Howenstine has done over the years have made her one of my absolute favorite doctors. Her dedication to help me in every way she could means more to me then she’ll ever know.


Valerie Kraft

Valerie is a High Honor Roll student at University High School in Carmel, Ind. She has been seen by many specialists at Riley Hospital for Children for several medical issues including asthma and Celiac disease. Valerie enjoys reading, writing, filmmaking, graphic design, listening to music, volunteering, cooking and traveling.


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