Miracle Monday: 7-year old boy overcomes the hurdle of a lifetime

SPOKANE, Wash. — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. To recognize that, this month’s Miracle Monday is highlighting the success one pediatric oncology patient found, all thanks to the experts at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.

Pate Purdum, at just 7- years old, was diagnosed with a rare subtype of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma early this spring. His family made the trek from Missoula, Montana to get him the best care they could find, somewhat close to home. As you’re about to see, he’s overcome the hurdle of a lifetime, and thanks to care at Sacred Heart Medical Center, he’s thriving.

“We both had Nintendo switches,” Purdum told us, recounting his time in Spokane, and care with Dr. David Goshorn.

Purdum is talking about Nintendo, and the skills he gained during his time in treatment. He explains quickly, “I didn’t know and he told me it’s a horn and it makes it go away.”

Dr. Goshorn, a pediatric oncologist, and Mario master explains, “Taking care of kids with cancer is the most challenging and rewarding job you could ever ask for.”

That being said, the challenge still doesn’t hold him back from still going the extra mile with each of his patients.

He knows those kids and their families well, too.

“There was this fear of the unknown from this family. A different state, a different city, a different set of doctors” he said.

The Purdum family admits they did have some reservations initially. They wanted to make sure they were giving their son the best care possible.

Kendra, Pate’s mother, quickly added, “Once we got there we were like ‘Man, we’re in the right place.'”

Looking back, they couldn’t dream up any better care.

“There was always something they connected the children with that brought them outside of the treatment- help them get through it- but also brought them above it,” Pate’s father Jeremiah added.

It’s elements like these that make the care at Sacred Heart Children’s Center, one-of-a-kind.

“We can’t deliver the care we do without the support of a tremendous number of groups, including the Children’s Miracle Network, Dr. Goshorn explained.

Child Life Specialists play a big role in that care, funded by the Children’s Miracle Network. Kendra Purdum explained, “They know to engage the child and distract them and guide them through to breathing if it’s needed. It’s just amazing.”

Just four to five months following the onset of Pate’s care, Dr. Goshhorn is thrilled to see Pate return to some degree of normalcy.

“In the meantime, he gets to go back to being a normal kid and getting dirty and doing all the fun things that little kids do,” he said.

“I don’t know if there is any way to communicate how thankful we are for the community at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital- but for the whole Spokane community,” Kendra said, overwhelmed with gratitude said.

Meanwhile, Pate, grateful for the gaming tricks he’s learned, “In animal crossing, if you hit the big boulders, sometimes you get GOLD” and the lesson that even though the toughest of trials, these are skilled to be gained.

Pate is in remission now, and living life to the max, with check-ups in Spokane, every few months. If you’d like to help support programs just like this one, you can donate to Children’s Miracle Network. You can find the donation page here.

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