A Birthday Girl Gives Back

September 27, 2016
Topics: Riley Kid Story

jane blog image
Riley kid Isabelle Phillips, Bloomington, Ill.

In the early morning hours of July 5th, 2014, our 8 year old daughter Isabelle awoke in pain.  She was doubled over and crying hysterically.  After our second round of pain and significant bleeding, we were referred to a local urologist.  

Our doctor treated what he believed was the problem, but then told us he was not sure what this could be, so we would need someone with more experience with children. We asked: Where would you take your child? He said it was a bit of a drive from our home in central Illinois, but his first choice would be Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We called and scheduled our first appointment with Dr. Benjamin Whittam in the Riley Urology department.

We met Dr. Whittam in March of 2015. He immediately knew what was going on from the tests we had taken and films we brought along. Isabelle had a neurological dysfunction between her brain and bladder. We started therapy, did some tests to rule out kidney damage, made some daily lifestyle changes, and had relief for months. However, within that next year Isabelle also started having some painful reactions to foods. Severe pain and irritation of her bladder resulted from some particular ingredients and the list continued to grow. It appeared her problems were expanding.

Through a very careful watch of her diet, testing to rule out allergies, and an exploratory cystoscopic procedure, it appears she had also developed interstitial cystitis as well as some reflux. We continue to have a road ahead of us, but are so incredibly grateful for answers and a path to bring Isabelle comfort instead of pain.

Dr. Whittam has been an incredible help for our family. He is so wonderful with our daughter. Isabelle looks forward to the long trip to Indiana every three months for treatment and to see Dr. Whittam. He takes the time to listen to her and has picked up many clues for her treatment as a result. The staff has worked so well with us, even arranging a surgery and procedure in one day so that she wouldn’t have to experience as much pain. Our trip over is always considered when scheduling, for which we are greatly appreciative.

We’ve also learned how blessed we are. Isabelle has asked more than once about the kids who don’t get to go home like she does. When Isabelle turned 10 this year, she asked if her friends who came to her space-themed party at a local Challenger Learning Center could bring money for the kids at Riley in lieu of birthday gifts. She wants these funds to be used to buy toys, games, and books for urology patients who had to stay overnight as they are probably scared being away from home. She also asked to use part of the money to buy little prizes for the kids undergoing testing and procedures in urology, as sometimes those are uncomfortable. 

Riley Hospital’s positive attitude as well as the special care and affection for children brings out the smiles, even in scary times. Thank you to Riley and Dr. Whittam for all of the care and help you have provided to our daughter and our family! We are forever grateful!

Did you know? Riley Children’s Foundation would be glad to work with you to raise funds for Riley through a special occasion such as a birthday or wedding. Click here to learn more.

Jane Phillips

Jane Phillips and her husband Chad are the proud parents of both Katrina and Isabelle in Bloomington, Ill. Jane works part time for a locally-owned heating and plumbing distributor and spends all other time with her pride and joy—her family. The entire family is immensely grateful for the medical help Isabelle has received at Riley Hospital.

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