Meet Blakelee Holt
Russellville

Blakelee Holt was a completely healthy kid—until the morning her mother found her disheveled, soaked in urine and barely conscious. Latasha Holt-Bocksnick immediately rushed her 3-year-old to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, an hour-and-a-half drive from their home.

There, doctors determined Blakelee had a seizure in the night, brought on by extremely low blood sugar. Blakelee was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She didn’t wake up for three days. It was a terrifying experience, says Latasha: “I felt so out of control, I was tugging at my hair. I remember that sweet ER doctor saying, ‘You need some family here.’”

Latasha was not only grateful for the excellent care Blakelee received, but also for the support the staff provided the rest of the family, too. “The Child Life counselors prepared her sisters to see her in the ICU,” Latasha says. “They said, ‘Don’t be afraid of all the machines and doctors—this is what Blakelee needs to feel better.’”

Today, 6-year-old Blakelee is still a frequent patient at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She takes seizure medication and follows a nutrition plan to keep her blood sugar stable. Even with the regimented treatment, a common illness or infection can send Blakelee to the hospital for a week-long visit. 

Still, whether the family is visiting for an emergency or a regular appointment with urology, endocrine or neurology, Blakelee “always views the hospital as her very own place,” Latasha says. “She knows that when she sees the blocks or Angel One from the interstate, we are going to a place of love and healing.”

The child-centered care and kid-savvy programs make Blakelee feel right at home, from the late night wagon rides past the butterflies in the South Wing to the fuzzy friends in animal therapy to costume parties for Halloween. Latasha says the staff makes Blakelee feel special, too, especially the nurses who always have a toy or surprise when her daughter has had every finger, thumb and toe pricked for blood samples.

“We are very blessed in Arkansas to have Arkansas Children’s,” says Latasha. “I want others to look at Blakelee and see that while having a chronic illness as a child is a hardship, Arkansas Children’s is a place she actually looks forward to coming to when she need it. She feels like it’s her place.” 

Donate in honor of Blakelee by visiting her fundraising page here. Until no child needs us, we need you.

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