Mitchell BrinkmeyerIn their words

Amy Brinkmeyer
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Our youngest son, Mitchell, was diagnosed with pectus carinatum in February 2015. No doctors in Cedar Rapids treated this condition and we had to take him to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital for specialty care. Mitchell was treated like the most important patient in the hospital. It warmed my heart and calmed my panic attack. I’m so grateful for that experience. 

Our first appointment at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital was with Graeme Pitcher, MBBCh and it could not have gone better. Dr. Pitcher even helped us plan our summer trip to Estes Park, Colo.

We were told the best way to avoid major surgery was for Mitchell to wear a pectus brace 12-16 hours every day. With our busy lives, this seemed impossible. Not for Mitchell, though. He disciplined himself to sleep with the brace on. For the past three-plus years he has slept in what I can only describe as a medieval torture device. But he did it. 

His progress over the last three years has been incredible! As his mother, I’m so inspired by him doing what is necessary and NEVER complaining. 

By sheer chance, we ran into Dr. Pitcher at a high school game. Upon seeing Dr. Pitcher, Mitchell ran to him, gave him a massive hug and said, “Thank you for helping me.” 

I thank God every night that we have access to stellar medical care. My child has been treated so well. 

A dream of his came true recently – he made his high school Show Choir Troupe as an incoming freshman. I’ve never seen him happier. 

Thank you to everyone at UI Stead Children’s Hospital for helping us navigate the fear and uncertainty of a rare diagnosis while making sure our son could still pursue his dreams. As his mother, writing this through tears of appreciation. Thank you.

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