Pierce Miller, portraitIn their words

Amber and Jason Miller
Kalona, IA

Our son, Pierce, was born at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in October 2010. We noticed when he was 4 months old that he wasn’t meeting the milestones he should have been, like raising up or rolling over. We also noticed his eyes were crossed. David Bedell, MD, a University of Iowa family medicine physician, suggested we take Pierce to a pediatric ophthalmologist.

We met with pediatric ophthalmologist Arlene Drack, MD, who became a huge voice for our family. Once we met with Dr. Drack, we were referred to many other specialists: neurology, psychology, genetics, and others.

Pierce has intractable seizures which require emergency room visits and occasional inpatient stays in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). He used to have seizures once or twice a month, but pediatric neurologist Michael Ciliberto, MD, put him on a new medication and he’s been seizure-free since October 2018.

We had noticed that along with Pierce’s seizures, there were other behavioral things going on. We mentioned it to one of our doctors, who then worked with a psychologist and others at the Center for Disabilities and Development. Pierce was then diagnosed with autism level 2, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and ataxia, in addition to his epilepsy and multiple vision issues.

I don’t know where we would be without UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. I trust this hospital with my son’s life. I don’t take my son anywhere else for his needs. I don’t feel like I need to. We have met some amazing doctors. Arlene Drack, MD, has worked with us tirelessly since day one. She has been in our corner helping us get answers, helping us find the right specialty doctors based on what Pierce needed. I honestly don’t think you can get that kind of care anywhere else. I also have to give a shout out to the pharmacy; they are awesome about getting Pierce’s medication all figured out. It gets sent in the mail monthly. For a mom with a child that has multiple special needs and multiple medications it’s one less thing that I have to worry about.

At UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, they just know how to take care of families, not just your child, the whole family. The doctors listen to you. As a parent, that is huge.