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In 1991, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford opened its doors thanks to a $70 million donation from Lucile Packard, an advocate for the health of children and expectant mothers, and her husband, David Packard.

It was one of the first children’s hospitals in the nation to incorporate pediatrics and labor and delivery in one building.

A year later, a heart and lung transplant was performed on a 1-month-old girl—the youngest heart-lung transplant patient ever. Dozens of medical breakthroughs would follow, and many more lives would be saved. Our hospital would become a national leader in bringing new therapies and innovative treatment to the children and expectant mothers who need them most. Your generosity has transformed health for all children and families—in our community and around the world. We look forward to the potential ahead!

1994: The neonatology team invents a diagnostic instrument for rapid bedside screening for jaundice in newborns.

1996: The Teen Van opens, becoming one of the first mobile health programs in the country to provide free medical care for uninsured or vulnerable youth.

2002: At just 1.4 pounds, Serena Brown of Sacramento is the smallest baby ever to undergo open-heart surgery.

2003: Stanford researchers develop an immune-suppressing drug regimen for children who have received solid organ transplants, allowing kids to avoid steroid drugs and their side effects.

2004: Packard Children’s Hospital becomes one of the first pediatric centers in the U.S. to use a Berlin Heart to support children with cardiomyopathy awaiting a heart transplant. The device will benefit countless children over the years.

2005: The Hospital School hosts its first prom—the first of its kind on the West Coast.

2008: A new prenatal test is developed for Down syndrome that carries lower risks to a woman’s pregnancy than amniocentesis.

2009: Child life specialists in the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases hold the first Girls’ Day Out, giving young cancer patients a chance to relax and be pampered.

2011: Million-to-one, naturally conceived quadruplet girls—Audrey, Emma, Isabelle, and Natalie Wang—go home to Redwood City after three months of intensive care.

2013: On Valentine’s Day, 9-year-old Lindsey Bingham (second from right) receives a heart transplant. In all, three of the five Bingham siblings will get new hearts.

2014: Research led by Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, shows a blood test can determine if patients who have been desensitized to their peanut allergies need to continue eating peanuts daily to retain their tolerance.

2015: The Stanford Chariot Program launches the Bedside Entertainment and Relaxation Theater, providing patients with tools to stay calm as they prepare for procedures and decreasing the need for oral anxiety medications.

2016: Two-year-old conjoined twins Erika and Eva Sandoval are separated in a 17-hour surgery. The girls will return home to Antelope Valley in early 2017 and continue to flourish. They are the fifth set of twins separated by Gary Hartman, MD, MBA.

2017: After multiple relapses of his cancer, 11-year-old Salvador De Leon tries an experimental treatment pioneered by Stanford researchers. They’re investigating ways to make CAR T-cell therapy faster, cheaper, safer, and more applicable to multiple types of cancer.

2018: A new blood test for pregnant women detects with 75 to 80 percent accuracy whether their baby will arrive prematurely. It is now being evaluated for use worldwide.

2020: Less than two weeks after the pandemic hits, our hospital rolls out safety measures around COVID-19 screening, daily team huddles, visitation, and social distancing. Health care workers step up to the challenge, making sure kids return home safely.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Packard Children’s News.

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