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On The Mark
On the Mark is published three-times-a-year by the CHOC Foundation. It features patient highlights, physician spotlights, news about major gifts and upcoming events, construction updates, and fundraising stories and is mailed to donors who support CHOC with a gift of $50 and more.

Young Burn Victim Beats the Odds After Being Given a 10 Percent Chance of Survival

Active, happy, strong-willed and independent easily describe little Jace Rodriguez, even after one unthinkable spring morning. That day, Jace wandered into the kitchen while his mother cooked breakfast. With a careful eye on her son, Jace?s mother set a hot pan next to the sink and turned around to finish the rest of breakfast. Seconds later, a loud scream echoed throughout the house. To his mother?s horror, Jace had pulled the pan off the counter, pouring hot bacon grease on his face and down his tiny body.

Within minutes, paramedics whisked him to a nearby burn center, where his parents learned it could be months before Jace would complete treatment?if ever at all. The Rodriguez?s nightmare was just beginning.

Jace underwent two skin graft surgeries, and although his burns were healing, he developed significant respiratory problems and needed a ventilator to assist his lung function. CHOC critical care doctors Ronald Bronicki, M.D.; Anthony Cherin, M.D.; and Paul Lubinsky, M.D., associate director of the CHOC Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU); were involved with Jace?s care at the burn center. X-rays revealed leaks in his lungs that required chest tubes to drain the air. Jace required significant ventilator support, and his status was not improving.

His last hope of survival was Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a heart-lung bypass machine that removes carbon dioxide and provides oxygen, while supporting cardiac circulation. Jace was quickly transported to CHOC, Orange County?s only ECMO center and the site where it was developed.

At CHOC, a team of specialists with expertise in caring for the sickest of children devised a successful treatment plan for Jace. And, within 24 hours, Jace shocked physicians and family members by showing marked signs of improvement?remarkable considering he was given only a 10 percent chance of survival.

Miracles happen every day at CHOC, and Jace?s story is no exception. The day after Mother?s Day, Jace was able to breathe on his own and taken off his ventilator. And, just 13 days after being admitted to CHOC, he was on his way home.

Jace?s burns have healed wonderfully, as have his chest scars, and he shows no signs of his near-death experience. Today, Jace is running, laughing and playing?just like the old days.


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chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .