Two long-term pediatric patients hope to give back to other children

CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo: 570-214-7410, 515-450-2908 (c), msferlazzo@geisinger.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 2, 2012

DANVILLE, Pa. – Once long-term pediatric patients, two local women have chosen to dedicate their lives to helping children experience miracles firsthand, like those they were part of during their treatment at Geisinger Medical Center’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Heather (Bowman) Goshert (at right, instructing new RN Katie Welsh), now a nurse at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, and Marisa McCarty, a soon-to-be nursing student, overcame the medical odds as children and are now paying it forward to help children they relate with all too well.

Heather (Bowman) Goshert
Then Heather Bowman, Goshert spent much of her adolescence and teenage years being treated for juvenile aggressive fibromatosis – or a form of aggressive, destructive fiberous  tumors, found on her head and neck. Some of Goshert’s tumors became life threatening: one by eating its way through the bone in her jaw on its way to her brain, and another by wrapping around her trachea, making breathing nearly impossible.

But after four serious bouts with tumors and major facial reconstruction surgery, the 28-year-old from Bloomsburg, is back on the pediatrics floor at Geisinger Medical Center, this time as a registered nurse.

“Being around in a hospital setting and everything that Geisinger has done for me, I really wanted to have that chance to give back, and also show kids that they can overcome their odds and still have their dreams and fulfill those dreams,” said Goshert, who was married in June 11, 2011. “Yeah, I had setbacks, but they make you a stronger individual.”

Marisa McCarty
Marisa McCarty (left), a 17-year-old senior at Sullivan County High School, used to consider it a great day when she could get through it without suffering a seizure. Having suffered from chronic seizures since she was age five, on her worst days, Marisa would have as many as 30 seizures within 24 hours.

But since undergoing a complex, two-part brain surgery by Geisinger pediatric neurosurgeon Amir Kershenovich, M.D., Marisa hasn’t had a seizure for nearly nine months. She’s now learning to drive with hopes of getting her license in April. And upon high school graduation, she also plans to attend Northern Tier Career Center in Towanda to study nursing – in part because of all the care she received throughout her 10 years of treatment at Geisinger.

Unfortunately, Marisa’s mother, Celia Molyneux, has found one downside to her daughter’s new active lifestyle: “Rissy’s never home now,” she says.

 

About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 17,000 employees, including a 900-member multi-specialty group practice, six hospital campuses, two research centers and a 290,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $5.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit  Geisinger. Follow the latest Geisinger news and more at Twitter and  Facebook.

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