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Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida Saves a 16-year-old's Life

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Author name: Lee Health

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Golisano patient and Dorian photo

The Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is on a mission to deliver vital and lifesaving care for children and their families throughout the region.

Here’s a success story from one of our patients who was treated at our hospital:

In 2020 on Christmas Eve, Marcus Richardson, 16, came down with a horrible stomach virus. His family knew something was wrong and quickly brought him to Golisano. He was fighting for his life in the pediatrics intensive care unit (PICU) with severe diabetic ketoacidosis from a new onset Type 1 diabetes (T1D) with his glucose levels being almost 1,300 mg/dL.

“We nearly lost our son to complications from Type 1 diabetes on the same day he was diagnosed, which was just a few weeks after his annual check-up,” says Jennifer Richardson, Marcus’ mother. “We stood at the precipice of our darkest fears and witnessed a miracle as God and the phenomenal emergency (ER) and PICU teams at Golisano pulled him back from the ledge. We are blessed to have the most amazing, compassionate, talented team of doctors and nurses that I have ever met.”

Throughout these uncertain times for his family, they did not have to fight this battle alone. From the hard-working staff in the PICU and ER, to the caring Child Life team, Marcus and his family knew they were in the best of hands.

“All of the staff at Golisano was wonderful, and I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge several members of Golisano's exceptional team,” Jennifer says. 

20211227_123343.jpgMarcus’ family would like to thank the following staff:

  • Dr. Jose Diaz and nurses Brent Culbertson, Ken Smith, and Alicia Nieves in the PICU showed kindness and compassion.
  • Dr. Asjad Khan, endocrinologist, checked in on Marcus every day after his discharge until his family met their new endocrinologist back home in Tampa.
  • The Certified Diabetes Educators team spent hours every day teaching them about T1D.
  • The Child Life team brought Dorian to comfort Marcus during his recovery and delivered him Christmas gifts.
  • Dr. Joshua Colvin and the charge nurse, Nichole Lynch, in the emergency room ascertained almost immediately that Marcus was a new T1D and rushed him to the PICU.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to nurse Lynch. As she hugged me in the ER she asked what she could do more for me.” says Jennifer. “I cried and said please just tell me he's going to be all right. She told me they were going to do everything they can to save him. And they did, they saved our son. Nichole went above and beyond and came to visit Marcus in the PICU, and brought him a small teddy bear that my son named Dorian, after Golisano's very own all-star.”

We wish Marcus and his family the best of luck and are grateful our team could be by their side every step of the way!


Our highly trained staff believes that every child is special. At Golisano, we believe that children deserve innovative care in an environment that soothes anxiety and fear. All of us - doctors, nurses, advocates, social workers, and volunteers - share that vision and care for you like family. 

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