LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Eight-year-old Elizeth Andazola had a pretty rough start to childhood. She first arrived at University Medical Center for two weeks in May 2017, when she was five years old, after suffering a stroke more than likely caused by an autoimmune liver disorder.
“She woke up with her left side paralyzed. She couldn’t move. She was scared. She was crying,” explained her mom, Aracely Andazola.
Elizeth was then monitored by the hematology clinic there.
But two years later after symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and bruising, they were given more health news that no child or parent wants to hear.
“Then last year, we found out she had Leukemia now. It was hard for us and it was something that we cannot imagine, but thanks to God, we have our daughter here.”
In May 2019, Elizeth was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, leaving her in UMC for six weeks.
“Whatever she needs, we’re there for her. The doctors are really really good at taking care of her,” explained Aracely.
Chemotherapy treatments started immediately at UMC when she got out of the hospital, having her exchange her fun summer at home for a hospital chair where she got treatments Monday through Friday for six hours a day.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen to her. Is it going to be fine? Or complicated ? We don’t know.”
“One of the things that was scary was she had a little more of an aggressive Leukemia than other children have and, I think for the staff and everyone, it was a benefit to be at a center where they treat very frequently for cancer and where they are very comfortable even with these children who have a more rarer form or more dangerous form of cancer. From that standpoint, I am very much am blessed they were able to find her diagnosis before she even got sicker and that she could get started on that treatment immediately,” said Dr. Brian Payne, the Chief Medical Officer of UMC Children’s Hospital.
“I love how much our staff took care of them and her family. After finding out about her and that she was not able to make this [Make-A-Wish] trip to Disney World, our staff went out to the store and just filled her room with gifts and things. I remember being brought to tears of how much our staff saw that and seeing that her life had been difficult up to that point,” said Dr. Payne.
This family says they’ll always be thankful to UMC for treating their child.
“We’re thankful because they saved our daughter from what all she’s going through and they’ve been checking up on her and they saved her, truly. And if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have her because if they didn’t catch it on time, it would have been worse,” said Jason Andazola, Elizeth’s dad.
Eight months after treatment, In January 2020, Elizeth officially was in remission and got to ring the cancer-free bell.