Kali’s Story – Beyond The NICU

“The term palliative care often is perceived by some of my colleagues and some parents as giving up hope or working with the death-and-dying squad.  What they may not understand is that clearly using palliative care means that kids actually live longer and better,” Dr Stefan Friedrichsdorf.


Kali’s Story proves that children’s palliative care can actually save lives that would have been otherwise shortened and demonstrates the importance of continuity of care throughout the lifetimes of children living with life-shortening illnesses.




Kali was born prematurely at 23 weeks of gestation.  As she was growing in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), her lungs weren’t and despite being ventilated she began gasping for every breath.  In their distress, Kali’s parents accepted a referral to Dr Friedrichsdorf’s pain and palliative care team.  To their surprise, the interventions of the team not only treated Kali’s pain but also facilitated dramatic improvement to the point where Kali qualified for life-saving lung transplant surgery.  Importantly, Kali’s breathlessness and pain was successfully treated with morphine, an essential pain medicine.


“As we’ve grown to know you and your team you’ve provided so much support for her and for us as parents,” Janice Eason, Kali’s mother.




Now, seven years later, Kali is developing well and living a relatively normal childhood.  She continues to receive specialist palliative care services enabling her to spend as much time at home as possible with the best quality of life.


“We’re thrilled to have that continuation of care for in the NICU to age seven,”Janice Eason, Kali’s mother.


Beyond the NICU featuring Dr Stefan Friedrichsdorf.


Filmed in Minneapolis,USA.  Deep thanks to Dr Stefan Friedrichsdorf and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.


Please consider supporting the life-changing work of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.




So much more than end-of-life care

Guest Blog by Janice Eason


Kali would not be here today if it would not have been for the help of her pain and palliative care team.  They have been with her since the beginning and are still a part of her life today.  The work they do is so much more than end of life care which is what I originally thought when I first met Dr. F.


Read more…

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Guest Blog by Dr Stefan Friedrichsdorf


Pediatric Palliative Care is making sure that children facing a serious illness can live as long as possible, as well possible. While we hope for the best, we prepare for the worst.


Read more…

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota



Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest children’s health care organization in the U.S.A, with 381 staffed beds at its two hospital campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children’s of Minnesota provides care through over 13,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient visits each year.

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