8-Year-Old Treats Hospital Staff Who Saved Her Life

On Saturday mornings, one Columbia girl visits the MU Children’s Hospital to thank the staff who saved her life, complete with hugs, smiles and doughnuts.

Two years ago, 8-year old Maya Quattrocchi was run over and suffered many broken bones, including injuries to her kidneys, lungs and heart. Hospital staff performed more than 40 surgeries throughout her 59 day stay at the pediatric intensive care unit.

“For the first two weeks we didn’t have a lot of positive news, and we didn’t know if she would make it,” said Venkataraman Ramachandran, a pediatric surgeon at the hospital. “We probably had to replace her entire blood supply two or three times, but she kept gradually making improvements.”

The medical team recently received the ICU Heroes award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Maya and her family traveled to Orlando, Florida with the doctors to accept the award. They are the only U.S. team to receive the award this year.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of doctors in the audience,” said Frank Quattrocchi, Maya’s father. “She did great; I was bawling like a baby. These other doctors were anxious to talk with Maya’s team to learn from them.”

Now, Maya and her parents visit the hospital and its staff who have become like family, who Maya calls her angels, including Ramachandran, or as Maya calls him: Uncle Ram.

“We come here every week to feed the angels,” said Maya.

The hospital staff say they enjoy seeing Maya and her constant improvement every week. The second-grader is now able to run and play with her classmates.

“During our first visits, she had a bad limp,” Quattrocchi said. “They got to see that improve, and now she runs and jumps into their arms.”

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