New realities for parents as UPMC Children’s Hospital charts new course during pandemic

PITTSBURGH — UPMC Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville is making changes as businesses start to fully open back up.

The hospital continues giving the best possible care to kids, including Presley Miller.

Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic talked with her parents, Anthony and Michelle of Baldwin, at Children’s Hospital where the little girl has been for nearly two weeks.

“It’s terrifying to say the least, to find out your kid has cancer and then during a pandemic is unimaginable,” Miller said.

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That leukemia diagnosis came in the beginning of January, and since then, whenever Presley gets a fever, the 20-month-old must stay at Children's Hospital until it comes down.

Dr. Linda McAllister-Lucas, division chief of pediatric hematology-oncology at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh says the rules are changing again for patients and families coming to Children's Hospital.

“As of now, we have no COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital and I feel that it is extremely safe and we're feeling ready to bring some of the patients back for face-to-face visits,” Dr. McAllister-Lucas said.

That means some surgeries that were postponed will happen now, more doctors will be working on the hematology- oncology floor at once, and testing patients for the coronavirus continues to expand.

Almost five-year-old Molly Wyman is ready for what she hopes is her last trip to Children's Hospital.

“They make sure you're good enough to go to the floor you need to go to so you're not infecting other sick kids so I felt pretty good about how they handled everything,” said Laurie Waite, Molly’s mom.

She's getting her port out in a week after nearly 3 years of leukemia treatments.

Some things at Children’s Hospital will stay the same.

They'll still screen patients and their families and the social distancing will continue.

For now, they are still limiting the visitors, but Dr. McAllister-Lucas says that is something that could change soon.