Eleven days after she was born, Hannah Grinnan was in dire need of a new heart. The Redlands newborn had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, forcing Loma Linda surgeons to perform a risky transplant barely a week after she was delivered.
Now, 15 years later, Grinnan is an active cheerleader at Redlands High School. On Thursday, she reunited with the doctors and nurses that helped save her life.
The former patient is one of four “medical miracles” — young Southern California children who survived incredible odds — who were celebrated at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for its 20th anniversary.
Nine-year-old sisters Cristina and Crystal Molina, who were born as conjoined twins in 2004, were also guests of honor at the event. The Molina twins were connected at the head — a very rare and dangerous spot to be attached — but underwent surgery as infants and were successfully separated by doctors.
“We were very lucky for Crystal and Cristina to have been not bothered by (their condition) and recovered totally well,” said Dr. Andrea Ray of the medical center.
Adriana Gurrola, another miracle patient from Redlands, beat cancer at only 14 years old. In 1998, Gurrola was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a disease uncommonly seen among children, according to the hospital.
Surgeons had to remove a “football-sized” mass from her breastbone, which was dangerously close to blocking her from breathing.
Now in her 20s, Gurrola is a nurse — a decision that was inspired by the strong bonds she made with her doctors, she told Loma Linda officials.