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Emmarose was just 2-years-old when she began having complications with her stomach. She was having difficulty having a bowel movement and her stomach was rock hard. 

Her family took her to her pediatrician where they treated her for constipation. She began having bowel movements again, but her stomach was still hard and she wasn’t acting like her typical, happy self. 

They took her back to her pediatrician and he referred Emmarose to get an X-ray at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s south campus to see if there was something more going on. Upon seeing the results, the imaging team told her family to go immediately to Dayton Children’s emergency department. 

On November 17, 2020, Emmarose was diagnosed with stage 3 liver cancer. She was immediately admitted to Dayton Children’s hematology/oncology unit, where Lionel Chow, MD, pediatric hematologist/oncologist met with the family and talked them through her diagnosis and next steps. 

“We had a great experience with Dr. Chow,” said Emmarose’s grandmother, Krystal. “He walked us through everything and made sure we understood all of the tests. You could tell he really knew what he was talking about. Dr. Chow is a really great doctor.” 

Emmarose remained on the hem/onc unit for nearly two weeks, while they ran additional tests and determined the best course of treatment. 

Throughout the winter, Emmarose was in and out of Dayton Children’s receiving chemotherapy. And, on February 4, she had surgery led by pediatric surgeon Oliver Soldes, MD and Daniel Robie, MD, associate chief medical officer and surgeon-in-chief.

The surgery was scheduled to take four to five hours, but ended up taking more than seven hours due to the large size and location of the tumor and where it had attached to her inferior vena cava and branches of her portal vein. Dr. Soldes and Dr. Robie utilized the hospital’s Stryker Spy-Phi scanner for Emmarose’s surgery, which allowed the tumor to appear green in color to visually distinguish it from the normal liver tissue. This was critical to ensure removal of all the tumor, while preserving the normal liver. This is the first time this equipment has been used at Dayton Children’s and one of the first in the country to be used for a case like Emmarose.   

Following her surgery, Emmarose recovered well and is back to her playful self. Even better, her most recent scans revealed that Emmarose is now cancer-free!