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The WLOS News 13 Person of the Week is a woman who's found her calling using her maternal instinct to fill a void for local families. Melissa Brown finally sees vital signs of optimism for her son Aidan at Mission's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The 6-week-old was born prematurely and only weighed 4 pounds at birth. "It's a little defect right next to the umbilical chord," mother Melissa said. "His intestines are outside of his body." Even super moms face the fact that they're mere mortals; mothers are often guilt ridden when they have to leave their child in the NICU. "You don't wanna think about your baby lying in a crib -- it is heartbreaking," Brown said.

It is quite amazing to consider how much our bones have to grow during the first 14 to 18 years of life in order to get us to our full adult size. Not only do our bones have to grow, but the muscles, ligaments, nerves and arteries also have to lengthen and thicken to accommodate the growing skeleton. Hormones in our bodies are the signals that help direct growth, and determine when growth speeds up, slows down, and stops. We experience the most growth generally the first three to five years of life and the period of time around puberty.

Mission Children's Hospital's Child Life program is the only program of its kind in Western North Carolina.  It is designed to ease stress for pediatric patients and their families, making a significant difference every day at Mission Health.  Child Life Specialist Julian Cate sees many kids who come through the program on a regular basis. Aviya Baluch, 13, is one of them.  "Home treatment is now over the limit, we have to get her here," her father, Issa Baluchm explains.  Aviya is back at Mission Children's Hospital to relieve fever and pain stemming from her sickle cell anemia. During each visit, a Child Life specialist works with Aviya to ease her anxieties.

Has your child ever suffered an injury that made you wonder how injuries in growing children are different than injuries seen in adults? Have you ever worried that your young athlete could end up with some injury that could affect his or her growth in a negative way? Are children just smaller versions of adults when it comes to their bones and muscles? These are some questions that many parents of active children are confronted with during the years we spend coaching them on their journey to adulthood.

Mission's Children's Hospital is returning to its home at the hospital's Memorial Campus after months of renovations. Improvements to the hospital include upgraded playrooms and support care closer to patient's rooms. The hospital is also more family centered, with areas for families to sleep by patients, so they don't have to feel alone. Hospital officials say all of the changes are centered around better care. Click here to watch the WLOS video.

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