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Meet Levi – the Inland Northwest’s New CMNH Champion

Each year Children’s Miracle Network honors a new Champion Child. Meet Levi, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion representing the Inland Northwest.

Levi Kimberling
Record-setting ECMO patient

Levi was experiencing typical flu-like symptoms when he first went to the doctor, who told his parents to stay home and let it pass. But things got much worse very quickly. Levi’s family rushed to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, where he tested positive for influenza B, the adenovirus, pneumonia, strep, and necrotizing pneumonia – a severe form of pneumonia that was “eating” his lungs. A ventilator and then an oscillator kept Levi breathing, until even those machines weren’t enough. Randy, Levi’s father, remembered his son being so frail that even a slight movement to put a blanket almost killed him, stopping his heart, a terrifying sight for his parents. Doctors knew their young patient needed more help to stay alive. They suggested a form of life support called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The equipment would mimic Levi’s lungs, giving his organs time to heal. His odds of surviving the treatment weren’t good, but he would have died without it. Levi spent 51 days on ECMO, longer than any other child at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. Levi also broke international records in his age group for his length of treatment.

Today, Levi stands out in a crowd, always willing to put others before himself.