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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 04:40 pm

TRAVIS THIEL

Jan. 19, 2005 – Feb. 22, 2011

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In February, the St. John’s Hospital family lost one of our heroes.

I met Travis when he was about 3 years old. He came with his mother for physical therapy for delayed development. Over the next several years, I had the privilege of working with Travis when he was in the hospital and for the short periods when he was out of the hospital. The best part was I got to see Travis on his good days. Unfortunately, these good days became fewer and farther between until he joined God, at the age of 6, on Feb. 22, 2011.

Travis had JMML, a form of leukemia. He went through several bone marrow transplants, blood transfusions and more tests and procedures than anyone should ever have to. He spent the majority of his life in the hospital getting poked and prodded. He missed out on the first day of kindergarden, school field trips, and sitting on Santa’s lap. But you would never know he was missing anything. Travis had a unique way of showing his affection for the staff. He would ‘soak’ you. He would decide who his target was, hide and, when you least expected it, out came Travis with his water guns, soaking you good. He would giggle and smile each time. He had nicknames for many of the nurses, like he would classmates or sisters....and many many girlfriends.

Travis was St. John’s Children’s Hospital. He and his family were a staple at work. They thought of us like family, and the feeling was mutual. Travis knew everyone, from doctors to security guards, nurses to office staff. I remember the first day I walked into work after Travis left us. It was as though someone was missing, it just wasn’t right. A life so special and yet so short. Travis taught me how to be brave, how to smile over the silliest things, when to push someone and when to just be there for someone. He will forever be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

–Meghan McFarland,
pediatric physical therapist, St. John’s Hospital

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