I am writing to tell you about my favorite little 18-month-old, Paislee. She is the queen of sass and never fails to make you laugh. Sweet Paislee came to the Children's Hospital of Savannah in June because “something just wasn’t right” according to her family. After many tests, pokes and medications she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Since has spent many days in the hospital getting chemotherapy and another 21 day admission for RSV, which is harder to fight for someone like her with no immune system. The chemotherapy Paislee receives can cause terrible mouth sores, which made her not want to eat at all. She had a feeding tube placed so we could give her the nutrition she needs and will have to continue using it until she starts eating again. This little fighter amazes me everyday. She plays shy at first but once you gain her trust she is as sassy as they get.
Paislee and her 3 older brothers (Dylan, Elijah and Liam) live with their aunt and uncle, Jason and Julie. They retained temporary guardianship in August of 2021 after the kids came to live with them because their home life was not the best. Her paternal grandmother, Beverly, lives next door and cares for the boys while Julie and Paislee are in the hospital. Each moment away from Paislee is filled with calls and Facetimes from her cousins who know how to brighten her day when she's not feeling good.
Paislee is a smart and curious little girl. She likes to help with the thermometer when we take her temperature and holds her leg out for blood pressures, it's the cutest thing. Her favorite show is Bluey, and she could dance to the 5 little ducks song all day long. She loves all kinds of toys and entertainment including blocks, baby dolls and books that make music. She is also our little fashionista, if only you could see her cute outfits and the big colorful bows that cover her bald little head.
I would love to see her brothers get some surprises as well. Her brother Dylan (9) would love a PS5 and new boots. Elijah (6) loves anything Sonic and new boots as well and Liam (5) would love a playhouse, sand pile and a fishing pole. While Julie and Jason do so much to take care of their family, they said being together as a family is more than enough for them. Though they would never ask, I know gift cards to Target, Walmart and TJ Maxx would be super helpful. With many mouths to feed I know they would also appreciate gift cards to their favorite restaurants like Zaxbys, Chicken Salad Chic, McDonalds and Arbys. Enjoying a very special Christmas together after all they have been through this year would be the ultimate Christmas miracle.
Julie, overwhelmed knowing they were being considered as a Christmas wish family, wanted to express “how thankful and blessed with family, friends, doctors, nurses and the community that continues to lift our family when we are at the darkest point in our lives. Thank you is never going to be enough to express how grateful we are for everyone.”
Mark, I am overwhelmed with the generosity of you and your listeners every year. I wish each and every one of you could meet our oncology patients. Though they are fighting such an awful disease, they are some of the strongest and sweetest kids you will ever meet. Thank you for making their Christmas a little brighter. Our hospital staff are so grateful for all you and the community do or our sweet families.
Francesca Tawil, MSN, RN
Pediatric Oncology Nurse
Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah