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the anatomy of a kidnapping

Yesterday, Friday, April 6, I was kidnapped by Dr. Evil. The kidnapping occurred at approximately 9 am on Friday, and I was released around 4 pm that day. The hero of the day, who caught and captured Dr. Evil (with a bit of help from federal agents) was Eric, an 8-year old child cared for by our pediatric cardiology group over many years. He is hale and hearty, despite his "zipper:" the scar that runs up and down his chest along the center of his breastbone. His memento of three separate cardiac operations performed before his 5th birthday.

I have never been kidnapped before.

I have never thought about being kidnapped. I suspect it is not something most people think about. The story of the kidnapping is in the Roanoke Times April 7, 2012. (PHOTO GALLERY HERE) The newspaper tells how the idea was conceived and carried out, with thanks going to Hunter Durham, from Homeland Security and our local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals chapter. Operation Miracle was accomplished with help from lots of volunteers, most of whom are real federal agents or police officers. Thanks also to the city of Roanoke, which made it possible for the motorcade to travel safely through the streets, stopping at some major Roanoke landmarks (the Taubman and Transportation museums, the Roanoke Market, and the Roanoke Star and Zoo on Mill Mountain, plus an unscheduled stop for cupcakes to enhance everyone's energy level). I was able to communicate with Eric intermittently via my smartphone--with updates via Twitter, Facebook and text messages (whenever Dr. Evil wasn't looking, of course).


You may be asking: Why?

Dr. Evil's plan was to kidnap me and send me into "outer space," apparently to stop the good work that is done each day, and all year at the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital (CCCH). Little did she know (yes, Dr. Evil turned out to be a woman) that the work done at CCCH does not depend upon me, and that she would have to kidnap the entire staff of physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, nutritionists, chaplains, psychologists, and many more, in order to stop what we do:

  • Over 100,000 provider/child interactions each year
    • Over 1300 inpatient admissions
    • Over 300 admissions to our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
    • Over 600 admissions to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
    • Over 30,000 specialty care visits
    • Over 20,000 general pediatric visits
    • Over 30,000 visits for occupational, physical and speech therapy

The other piece Dr. Evil didn't appear to recognize is all the work we do in and for the community

  • Adolescent medicine services at the Roanoke City High Schools and in the community
  • Support for CHIP, Ronald McDonald Charities, March of Dimes and others
  • Obesity services
  • Psychology services
  • Multiple outpatient subspecialty sites throughout the region--bringing our subspecialists closer to YOU and your child.
  • Our neonatal/pediatric critical care transport team, who safely bring several hundred patients a year from outlying hospitals to our various inpatient units, using the mobile neo/peds ICU.

I think Dr. Evil also didn't realize how closely linked the clinical services at CCCH are with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTC), as our inaugural class prepares to enter their clinical rotations, and our pediatricians have and will continue to teach at all levels from the first and second year small group case-based learning, to lectures on basic physiology and pathophysiology (how things should work and how things can go wrong), as well as mentoring our students, supporting their various interests, and serving as role models. Thankfully, Dr. Evil was arrested by our young Eric, before her dastardly plan was able to be accomplished.

But I wonder, is she the only one who didn't know about  all the good stuff CCCH does?

If YOU have questions about what we do, or where we are, I would be happy to answer them here.

Drop me a line and ask away.

And if you see Eric on the street, tell him thank you for being such a good sport, and using his skills to save me and the Children's Hospital from Dr. Evil

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