Family treated by pediatrician killed in windstorm remembers her fondly

SPOKANE, Wash. — The life of a beloved community member was taken far too soon on Wednesday when a violent windstorm ripped through the region. Now, one family is sharing what it meant to be cared for by Dr. Melanie Sanborn, a pediatrician at Shriners Hospital.

Those who worked with Dr. Sanborn described her as a tireless advocate for kids. Marcelle Rother can attest to that. Her son, George, has Osteogenesis-Imperfecta- meaning he’s been battling brittle bones ever since he was born three years ago. In just one year, George suffered from 10 broken bones.

He may enjoy yoga and racing around the room now, but Rother says they may not have been possible without Sanborn’s help.

“I don’t know that anyone will ever be able to replace her, or the joy that she brought to us, or the kids, cause I know that George is going to miss her,” Rother said.

Sanborn was killed when a tree fell on her car near W. 27th Ave and S. Post St during Wednesday’s storm.

READ: ‘A tireless advocate for kids’: Colleagues mourn loss of Shriners pediatrician killed during windstorm 


The first sign of his condition came about a week after he was born. That’s when Sanborn first came into their lives, and she had the answers they needed. Since that first appointment, she’s been a staple in their lives and she’s been supporting them and cheering them on, every step of the way.

“There is not one appointment that we have ever had with her where she didn’t make us feel special and educated and confident and George LOVES her,” added Rother.

Marcelle says that Sanborn’s care was one in a million. She was able to give peace in the chaos of life and insisted George will be able to do anything he wants, because they’d make sure of it. Above all, she made them feel special and gave them the knowledge and confidence they needed to give their son his best care. Right now, Rother says they’re just feeling very grateful for the time they did have with Sanborn.

The Rother family is confident that Shriner’s Hospital will help them find the resources they need going forward, but they know Sanborn can’t be replaced.