Treating the Body and Spirit
Peyton Laffoon will never forget how Valley Children’s made it possible for him to enjoy a big moment in his young life as a high school senior in Bakersfield. He was hospitalized with a lung infection and couldn’t play in his high school’s homecoming football game. But Peyton wanted to cheer on his buddies from the stands.
Doctors at our nationally recognized cystic fibrosis center were determined to help him. “It showed how much the doctors really cared and loved me,” he said.
Our experienced doctors and staff know how to treat the body and spirit. They provide the best care to families facing the difficult diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. California Children’s Services and the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation both recognize our center as a multidisciplinary clinic that provides a high standard of care.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and over time limits the ability to breathe. “Life expectancy is now close to 40, nearly double from 25 years ago,” said Dr. Sudhakar Reddivalam, medical director for pediatric pulmonology and our cystic fibrosis program. He has treated patients with complex pulmonary disorders for nearly 25 years at Valley Children’s.
Dr. Sudhakar encourages Peyton to face the future with optimism. Peyton has better lung function than many peers without cystic fibrosis. “Medical breakthroughs, including a cure, are possible in the near future,” Dr. Sudhakar said.
Peyton takes the encouragement to heart and is determined not to let the disease define his life. He’s been an Eagle Scout and served as president of his church youth group. He had a 4.3 GPA in his final yer of high school and earned an academic scholarship to Arizona State University.
Peyton tries to contribute positively to life. When he comes to our Madera campus for checkups, he brings his guitar and sings. Some of the doctors and nurses join in the songs. “They’re like family,” Peyton said.