Cruising through Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in a plastic police car, a pint-size officer hands out stickers and tickets, and tells all the nurses to remember his name: Zachary Danger Reesey.
His mother, Sarah Reesey, had no idea when she was pregnant and wanted to give her son a “fun” middle name that he would one day be so in need of a superhero’s moniker.
Four-year-old Zach’s health has declined precipitously over the last 12 months. Last June, after developing a double ear infection that refused to go away, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that causes inflammation of the blood vessels and can lead to serious heart problems. (Though some children with COVID-19 have developed a Kawasaki-like syndrome, Zach’s case is unrelated to the pandemic.) In March, he suffered a stroke and has been at CHOP ever since, relearning how to use the left side of his body. The disease has impaired his ventricular function so severely that doctors say his best bet for beating this internal villain is a new heart.
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