Health Team

Family praises medical and personal care at Duke

Posted February 15, 2011

— Tim and Cara Sargent remember the feeling of despair when they first learned their daughter, Maddie, had leukemia more than two years ago.

“She looked at both of us and she said, ‘Don't worry about me guys. I'm going to kick leukemia right in the tail,’” Cara Sargent said. “We had to have the same outlook.”

Maddie, now 9, was treated at Duke Children's Hospital. Her parents praised the medical care and " time and effort they put into making an awful experience as good as you can possibly make it,” Tim Sargent said.

While Maddie was hospitalized, the staff at Duke tried to get the Jonas Brothers, who were in Raleigh for a concert, to drop by to visit Maddie. Instead, they sent a video expressing their admiration for her.

“And I said, ‘Oh they love me!,’” Maddie recalls. “It was just so hard to keep down.”

After her treatment was complete, it took more than a year before she could get back to her first love, being a flyer at Wake Forest All-Stars gymnastics and cheerleading.

“She went through something that most of us will never go through,” Maddie's cheerleading coach Shannon Young said. “She's come out of the other end of it stronger and we're glad to have her back”

Family praises medical and personal care at Duke Family praises medical and personal care at Duke

Maddie will continue to visit Duke every six months for blood tests to make sure her cancer hasn’t returned.

MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM is holding a Radiothon to raise money for Duke Children's Hospital. It runs through Thursday.


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  • wildcat Feb 16, 2011


  • fhardy002 Feb 16, 2011

    Same experience different department. Duke is tops. Had bi-lateral lung transplants in 2001 and the care before, during and since is first rate, professional and with a touch of heart. If you're ill, go to Duke for treatment.

  • kikinc Feb 16, 2011

    mep-Completely agree. If it's not life threatening, but you need to see a doctor, go to an urgent care. Unfortunately, that can't always happen. The only time I went to the ER was late Sunday night, early Monday morning, which just so happened to the slowest time. I was able to get right in. I would have waited until morning, but I ended up needing 6 stitches, so I'm glad I went in. The staff was friendly and courteous. They made my stay not as terrible as it could have been. This was at Duke Hospital, too. I guess they're not all bad.

  • mep Feb 16, 2011

    fuzzmom... that sounds like most of the ER's in this area.
    I waited 2 hours (10PM to midnight) before having my child seen at the children's ER in Raleigh. Great staff and care... just over-run with patients. Hospitals should have better triage, along with "ability to pay" screenings. Then those truly in need could be seen quicker. As it was, a majority of those in the ER that night had nothing more than the flu. They left the ER in the same condition as they entered. A sad use/waste of emergency services.

  • davesunc Feb 16, 2011

    I have the honor of knowing this family. They so deserve that Maddie has come this far. She is a wonderful young lady as is her sister but when you have parents like they do one can see why they are such wonderful little girls.

  • fuzzmom Feb 16, 2011

    I am glad someone has had good care. I cannot say the same. It's gotten to the point that from here on out I'll travel an additional 10 miles to UNC. That ER is a abomination. It's full of rude staff that make you wait hours on end, and treat you like a 2nd class citizen. It doesn't even help when your private physician has privilegees at Duke and sends you to the hospital. It's my understanding that if you have not been shot in the head, Duke ER will put you on a back burner. Basically, when patients are waiting hours on end, they are essentially told that they are too busy dealing with gunshot wounds. I even witnessed: a pregnant woman having to stand (no seats) and wait, a man brought in by ambulance from another hospital having to wait with an IV in tow, a man throwing up in the floor. . . I could go on. I've waited as long as 9 hours in the ER, only to be misdiagnosed with a life-threatening disease!

  • mep Feb 16, 2011

    Both of my children have been treated at Duke Childrens Hospital.... I cant say enough good things about the staff and quality of care.