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patient story

McKayla Rodriguez

no ordinary headache

Mckayla was sitting in her sixth-grade classroom when suddenly, she got a pounding headache. She told her teacher and went to the nurse’s office. Her parents took her to the doctor and then home, but when she still wasn’t feeling better, they knew they needed a second opinion.

Mckayla was admitted to Dayton Children’s with a subarachnoid hemorrhage – a stroke. 

Despite not remembering a lot from her stay due to pain and medication, she does remember the kindness of the staff. “Every single staff member was empathetic, kind, and caring. They weren’t just treating me; they also treated my family.”

McKayla spent two weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) before she was well enough to go home. Flash forward four years later: Mckayla, now a junior in high school, wanted to give back to Dayton Children’s Hospital. “One day my mom was scrolling through Facebook and told me to come look at something,” recalls Mckayla.

It was a video of a young man who was camping out every night to raise money for his favorite cause. Mckayla knew she could do the same thing. With the help of a few friends and her stuffed animals that were with her in the hospital, Mckayla camped out for three nights. She surpassed her fundraising goal and increased awareness about the incredible cares she received at Dayton Children’s.

Mckayla wants kids her age to know that by giving back, you can create a better, stronger community. And that’s just what you do, too: as a supporter of Dayton Children’s, you are creating a better world for kids like McKayla.

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