Second Season of Children's Med Documentary Set to Debut

March 02, 2012

Teens undergoing bone marrow transplants and plastic surgery to repair the damage wrought by cancer; a day-old infant rushed into surgery after being diagnosed in the womb with spina bifida; children injured in car crashes – every day, such emergencies are seen at Children’s Medical Center ( Here, the lives of the sick and injured rest in the hands of some of the world’s best physicians and nurses determined to do everything possible to save them.

Beginning Saturday, the second season of “Children’s Med Dallas” – a seven-part TV documentary airing on WFAA Ch. 8 – will reveal more behind-the-scenes stories of life at the nation’s 5th-largest pediatric hospital.

The TV series features a real-life look at both the professional and personal lives of several Children’s Medical Center physicians, including Dr. Andrew Koh, who performs bone marrow transplants; heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian; plastic surgeon Dr. Alex Kane; Dr. Pamela Okada, a trauma physician and mother of five; Dr. Rashmin Savani, a fetal-neonatal expert; neonatologist Dr. James Moore; and Dr. Dale Swift, a neurosurgeon. Each physician also holds a faculty position at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The original dramatic series picks up where the successful first season left off last fall, featuring life-or-death stories of traumatic injuries, babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and children receiving bone marrow and heart transplants. The second season will air in 30-minute segments at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays in March and April. It gives viewers a candid look behind the walls of Children's, consistently ranked one of the nation’s best hospitals.

The program features emotionally compelling stories, such as the case of a 16-year-old Forney boy undergoing plastic surgery to receive a new nostril after the removal of a brain tumor at a young age caused a painful itch in his nose – a sensation so strong that it prompted him to scratch away nearly half of his nose. Also featured is a 14-year-old Benton, Ark. fast-pitch softball player diagnosed with bone cancer, who endures a bone marrow transplant after also being diagnosed with leukemia.

The second season begins with the conclusion of the story of Rylynn Riojas, a 2-year-old Lampasas girl who last fall was placed on a Berlin artificial heart to extend her slim chance of receiving a donor heart. The program also will introduce the case of a Fort Worth infant who was diagnosed with spina bifida before she was born and underwent surgery at Children’s earlier this month when she was just one day old.

Senna Howell, the mother of bone cancer and leukemia patient Sophia “Sophie” Tilley, called Children’s Medical Center “a wonderful place” and said sharing her daughter’s story with viewers may help somebody.

“If you have to have this level of care, this is the place to be,” said Howell, who is more than four hours away from the family’s Benton, Ark., home to be at her daughter’s side at Children’s. “Being so far away from home –
that was a concern, but everyone has made us feel so welcome and at home and has been willing to help.”

The documentary also offers a look inside the hospital’s emergency department, showing the plights of a 7-year-old who fell off a horse, an 8-year-old boy run over by a car in his own driveway, a teenage boy who overdosed on drugs and three children injured when their car flipped over.

The series will air at 6:30 p.m. on March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, and April 7 and 14. It will be featured on the hospital’s Facebook page (, on which viewers, patients and their families can watch, comment, discuss the show and share their stories.

About Children’s Medical Center

The not-for-profit Children's Medical Center is the fifth-largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country, with 559 licensed beds, two full-service campuses and 10 outpatient sites. Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the only pediatric teaching facility in North Texas, affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. For more information, please visit