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Hope for Robyn
When Leeanna and Robert Clark, of Joplin, discovered their unborn baby girl would need neonatal intensive care at birth, they knew they wanted to deliver at Freeman Hospital West. Confident their new daughter would receive excellent care in the Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Leeanna found great comfort in knowing this would allow her to stay close to their baby.
Robyn Clark came into the world full term, but with a heart defect that caused low oxygen saturation. She had three extra fingers, no knuckles, no cartilage in her knees, and other problems. At three months of age, Robyn received a diagnosis of Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. A rare, hereditary condition characterized by short ribs, short limbs, dysplastic teeth and nails, growth retardation, and congenital heart defects, Ellis-van Creveld syndrome affects less than one in 10 million births. At the time of her diagnosis in 2007, Robyn became one of only 150 known children with the condition.
“We were lucky to have our family with us when she had her first open heart surgery. We didn’t know what to expect. When they took her to the operating room she was crying. I wanted to go with her,” says Leeanna. Robyn’s surgeries take place in Kansas City and she routinely sees a specialist in Springfield. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals helps the Clarks with transportation assistance when needed. According to Leeanna, “CMN has always been there to help us whenever we’ve needed them—even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on.”
At 4, Robyn is like most kids her age. She plays with puzzles, loves Sponge Bob Square Pants, and likes to give hugs.
While Robyn’s struggles are far from over, this bright, articulate little girl has access to the best medical treatment available. Isn’t that what we want for all our children?
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931 E. 32nd St.
Joplin, MO 64804
1102 W. 32nd St.
Joplin, MO 64804