Variety - The Children's Charity of Buffalo & Western New York is known for its support of the Robert Warner M.D. Center for Children with Special Needs and the Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo. We also support many Western New York children's charities through its annual telethon on WKBW-TV broadcast live from the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo, New York.
2016 Celebrity Child - Ashton Ross SmithAshton Ross Smith is so honored to be asked to represent the 54th Annual Kids Telethon as the Celebrity Child. Ashton is 5 1/2 years old and attends Washington West School in Olean, New York where he loves to play music and interacts with this friends. Ashy, as we call him, lives in Salamanca, New York with his mother Alisa, his father Marion, his brother and best friend Preston and older sister Danelle. Ashton has a small dog named Daisy also who he loves to play with every day.
Ashton is our second son born healthy and strong on December 18, 2009. After doing three years of fertility for our first son, Preston, who is now 7 years old, Ashton is out bonus baby. On February 10th, 2010 just six weeks into his young life, Ashton became ill with RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) which led to pneumonia. At an appointment at our Seneca Nation clinic, he was put on oxygen right away and rushed to Olean General Hospital in the worst winter weather conditions. At Olean General Hospital, we waited for a medical team put together by Children's Hospital of Buffalo that was sent out to pick us up by ambulance in the snow storm and transported back to Children's Hospital safely.
On February 10th, 2010 while sitting with Ashton, his SpO2 (Blood/Oxygen) level dropped from 100% to 0% in seconds, this is when our lives changed forever. Our perfectly healthy son was crashing right in front of our eyes. We were helpless, we are desperate, we started to panic, we prayed. We lost him to Respiratory Arrest then shortly after reviving Ashton, he went into Cardiac Arrest, he was gone each time for long periods of time. Once Ashton's heartbeat was found again, he was placed on the ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Life Support. We prayed by his side and we were told to prepare ourselves. So, we had Ashton baptized there in the Prenatal Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with our family members. We continued to pray for Ashton's life as we held his little feet in our hands, one day led to another and Ashton was still with us. Ashton's father made a few trips home to be with older brother, Preston. I never left Ashton's side. His big sister Danielle prayed from Florida. We received emails and texts from all areas of the US. I saved them in Ashton's scrapbook. We surely felt the power of prayer and the overflowing of love. Then after six and a half long days on the ECMO, the doctors thought we can try shutting off this beautiful amazing machine that was keeping our son alive and healthy. We were afraid, after all, Ashton was alive and we could touch him and speak to him. When we saw his eyelashes flutter, we knew he could hear us. Ashton did well for the first while so they gave him more time with the machine off. After a while, Ashton was taken off the ECMO Life Support then taken off the Oscillating Ventilator and Ashton was back in our arms. He was looking into our eyes, drinking our of a bottle and he was smiling, no more machines. Our prayers were answered. As parents, we just wanted our baby with us in our arms and home with his brother and family where he belongs.
Ashton is alive and back in our arms and thriving because the doctors at Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo did not give up on our son. Women and Children's Hospital saved our son. We were blessed to conceive Ashton and Women and Children's Hospital was blessed with the doctors and equipment available to save him. Ashton continues to be cared for here at Women and Children's Hospital. His story continues as he has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. Ashton is accomplishing all he tries and continues to light up our lives as well as the lives of everyone he meets with his loving smile and contagious laugh. We can honestly say that Miracles do happen at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, just look at Ashton Smith! Perfect!