Healthy Kids - Winter 2023


Father Knows Best A grateful parent of a long-term Rady Children’s patient gives back


ndy McClure considers giving back the least he can do to thank the physicians who saved his daughter Erin’s life multiple times. Erin was born

premature and spent her first three weeks of life in the NICU at Rady Children’s; then she was readmitted after showing signs of abnormal development. Erin was ultimately diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder that affects the way a child’s brain develops and causes delayed growth, a progressive loss of motor skills and seizures. Pediatric neurologist Richard Haas, MD, and his team developed an individualized care plan for Erin. “The neurologists at Rady Children’s were the ones who helped us figure out what her disability was and helped us with the medications,” Andy says. “It’s become a lifetime relationship.” Erin’s health remained stable for a few years, then began to decline. Her motor skills were worsening, which impacted her ability to eat and necessitated the insertion of a gastrostomy tube. After a hospital stay, she was admitted into the Helen Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children, a long-term skilled nursing facility at Rady Children’s. Erin’s quality of life has since improved greatly. Andy and his other daughter,

“Because this is Erin’s home, Rady Children’s feels like home for our family, too,” Andy says. Andy says he takes comfort knowing he can help other families with sick children get the very best care available, regardless of income, insurance or ability to pay. “I started talking to people and they told me about a charity fund, and they told me about the Rady Children’s Foundation, and I thought, ‘I should probably donate since they’ve saved my daughter’s life a whole bunch of times,’” he says. Andy began making generous monthly donations to Rady Children’s about a year into Erin’s stay at the Bernardy Center. Though he has since retired from his tech industry job, he continues to support the Hospital. He has also included Rady Children’s in his estate plan. “Every day I wake up thankful for

Every day I wake up thankful for Rady Children’s because I know Erin is SAFE AND HAPPY HERE . –ANDY McCLURE, ERIN’S DAD ‘‘

Rady Children’s because I know Erin is safe and happy here,” he says. “I also know that without access to care at Rady Children’s, Erin would not be alive today.”

Lauren, are able to visit often, and Erin’s care team is working to manage her diet, control her seizures and attend to her other medical needs.


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