About Khloee

After doing some imaging that revealed a 54% curve in her spine, Khloee was referred to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital where she was officially diagnosed with scoliosis.


As a competitive cheerleader, Khloee was at a cheer practice when a coach noticed she had a severe curve in her spine as she bent over. Khloee’s mom had been taking her to a chiropractor for a few months because Khloee had been complaining of back and hip pain, but none of the adjustments seemed to work. After doing some imaging that revealed a 54% curve in her spine, Khloee was referred to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital where she was officially diagnosed with scoliosis.

Her treatment began with wearing a brace for 16 hours a day, in hopes of correcting the spine without surgery. “It was horrible,” Khloee said. “My hips hurt so bad, I couldn’t sleep at night, I was coughing and couldn’t even walk out to the car. Plus, it was hard dealing with kids at school asking about the brace.” Not to mention that being in a brace kept her from cheer practice. “Cheer is super fun, and all the athletes are so nice, and that’s where I make all my friends,” Khloee said. “If I was having a hard day, I could just go there and be happy.”

Due to Khloee’s growth spurts, surgery became inevitable. A corrective surgery for scoliosis typically would not be done until a child is done growing. However, Dr. John Smith at Primary Children’s Hospital presented an option called vertebral body tethering that would hopefully allow Khloee a heightened quality of life in her teens – physically, emotionally, and socially. In surgery, they had to first put in a chest tube and deflate one of her lungs so Dr. Smith could get to the spine. The results were positive: after just a couple days’ stay at Primary Children's, Khloee dressed as Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms in the wheelchair, and she was able to walk a couple houses at Halloween about 10 days later.

Since the surgery, Khloee has grown six inches taller and “she’s a completely different person,” her mom, Kim, says. She’s now back at cheer practice and competition, without pain. She goes back to the hospital every four months to ensure her back remains straight as she grows. Khloee loves to make everyone laugh, including her care team at the hospital. When she grows up, she wants to be a model, an actress, or an anesthesiologist.

Khloee is one of many patients treated at Primary Children’s with innovative surgeries, in part made possible by dedicated research coupled with community and philanthropic support.

Noah's Story

As we sat there in the Neurology office, our entire world suddenly shifted with just a few words. “Your son has cancer."


Noah's Story

In 2021, when he was nine years old, Noah was thriving in school and following his passion of playing football. But after dealing with ongoing migraines and multiple doctor visits, an in-depth scan revealed a mass in the center of his brain. Noah was diagnosed with cancer and rushed to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. “It started as a normal Tuesday,” his mom, Jacque, said. “As we sat there in the Neurology office, our entire world suddenly shifted with just a few words: Your son has cancer. In an instant, I was called to the front lines of motherhood. With no warning, my little Noah was stripped of his childhood.”

Noah would undergo chemotherapy, blood transfusions, weekly blood draws, radiation, and everything in between. He would distract himself by tossing the football around the halls of the hospital.

“The words that you have cancer are the scariest thing that could possibly happen to you,” Noah said. “But as you progress in treatment, you learn so much and see what kids have been going through for a long time. When you come out of it, it is the biggest achievement you have made.”

After eight long months of fighting, Noah got to ring his victory bell, a tradition at Primary Children's signifying the end of chemotherapy.

Now Noah is 11 years old, in remission, and enjoying playing quarterback in tackle football. Noah likes to share his story in hopes it can inspire others. “Champions are made in the fourth quarter,” he says. “No matter the odds or the time on the clock, you must always fight.”

Meet Eva

When she was two months old, Eva was diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder.

When Eva was two months old, her parents learned she had biliary atresia, a life-threatening disorder that affects the way her liver and gallbladder functioned and required a liver transplant.

For nine months, Eva received the critical care she needed leading up to, and following, her liver transplant at Primary Children’s Hospital. Donors in the community have helped improve the quality of care provided at Primary Children’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), making it the most highly specialized in the Intermountain West region.

Every day since her transplant has brought more joyful experiences for Eva. Though she’s started talking later than most kids, Eva’s making up for lost time. These days, she has a lot to say, and her favorite word is “hug." Eva’s favorite color is blue, and accordingly loves to watch Bluey and eat blueberries.

With your support, you help the tiny patients in our specialized NICU receive the best care possible, as part of our promise to create the nation’s model health system for children.

Meet Mitt

At only six days old, Mitt was flown to Primary Children’s from Idaho.

At only six days old, Mitt stopped eating and was extremely lethargic. He seemed in pain but was too weak to even cry. After seeing a local NICU doctor, he was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in a helicopter from Idaho where he was diagnosed with Pediatric Congenital Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction (UPJ).

After undergoing two surgeries, Mitt is one of hundreds of children outside Utah who have benefited from Primary Children’s expert care with the support of generous donors.

Now 7 years old, Mitt has no lingering complications. He loves LEGOS, dinosaurs, and the Avengers. His parents say he’s interested in anything that involves a game and doing tricks on the trampoline.

Read Hallie’s Story

“What should have been a quick peek at our baby turned into an appointment that diagnosed her with gastroschisis.���

Hallie’s journey started when her mother, Kristin, was 16 weeks pregnant.

“We went to the OB for an early gender check so that we could tell our parents for Christmas,” Kristin says. “Instead of walking out of that appointment discussing how to tell our families, I walked out trying to hold back tears. What should have been a quick peek at our baby turned into an appointment that diagnosed her with gastroschisis.”

Gastroschisis is a birth defect that occurs before the baby is born. There is an opening in the baby’s abdominal wall and the baby’s bowels push through the hole and develop outside the baby.

Although their local hospital had local level four NICU, it lacked a doctor with the specialization to adequately treat Hallie’s condition, and she was referred to Primary Children’s.

After Hallie was born, she made the trip to Primary Children’s Hospital where she began her treatment, including an IV, intubation, and a special bag to support bowel movement.

After surgery, Hallie needed to wait six weeks for her bowels to start working on their own. Following some initial setbacks, Hallie was finally able to finish her treatments without any complications.

“The surgeon was phenomenal. The entire staff was kind and friendly,” says Hallie’s mom Kristin. “They explained things to us and made sure we understood what decisions were being made and why they were being made… The staff and Primary Children’s [were] amazing and so supportive during our stay and we are still good friends with one of Hallie’s nurses.”

Hallie is now a happy four-year-old who loves to read books and play with her brothers.

Learn About Aubrey

“Primary Children’s actually had an incredible impact on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life”

At the start of 2020, Aubrey noticed her heart rate was lower than normal, which led to dizzy spells when she stood up and forced her to crawl up stairs. As an athlete who ran hurdles, her family was concerned about what these health changes meant.

After visiting with her family doctor, Aubrey was referred to Utah Valley Hospital where it was discovered she had a Type 2 Mobitz II Heart Block, a life-threatening block in her heart’s electrical system that impeded signals to her heartbeat.

Three days later, she was admitted to Primary Children’s Hospital for surgery where she was met by a friendly face in pre-op – a nurse named Rhiann who she had met years earlier during knee surgery.

Rhiann hugged her and offered comfort before a 4.5-hour surgery. When Aubrey woke up, the same group of nurses were there at her side.

Now 19 years old, Aubrey can receive check-ups at Primary Children’s until she turns 21, at which point she and her family will receive support in the transition to an adult provider. She now attends Brigham Young University - Idaho and is studying nursing, inspired by the level of care and comfort she received from Rhiann.

“Primary Children’s actually had an incredible impact on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Aubrey says. “I went to Primary Children’s and I saw the things that the nurses did—they weren’t just giving medications, and they weren’t just a friendly face, they were so much more than that. They had the knowledge to take care of you, but they also had the heart to be able to take care of you that way. And not just physically, they take care of you mentally and emotionally as well.”