Matt Campbell, cystic fibrosis

Matt Campbell Arkansas Childrens Hospital

Rogers, 16 years old

When Matt was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract.

“Matt had always battled allergies and asthma, but those run in the family, so that wasn’t unexpected,” says Renee, Matt’s mother. “One day, his babysitter mentioned that we should have him tested for cystic fibrosis. She had recently received some literature in the mail and she thought he had a few of the symptoms.

We requested the test and were completely surprised when it came back positive. They told us his life would be difficult and consumed with doctor appointments, medications, treatments and hospitals.”

The Campbell family lived in Texas at the time, so Matt began treatment at the local children’s hospital. When he was 3, the Campbells moved to Arkansas, and Renee began looking for the best place for Matt to continue his treatment.

“When we decided to move, I knew he would need to go to a hospital in Kansas City or Arkansas Children’s Hospital,” she says. “People said very positive things about ACH, so I knew this was where we wanted him to be treated.”

Over the years, Matt has been inpatient at ACH multiple times, in addition to his regular check-ups.  He has fought pneumonia, MRSA virus in his lungs and pancreatitis.

“When we are at ACH, the nurses are so caring and gentle,” Renee says. “They treat Matt appropriate to his age. They don’t treat him like a little kid and that’s important.”

Now 16, Matt is a straight-A student who wants to be a doctor when he gets older.  Matt enjoys playing basketball and spending time with friends. 

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