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All Artie Wanted For Christmas Was A Scanner

December 24, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging, Neuroradiology
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Santa Claus needed help to fulfill Artie Fowler’s Christmas request. Siemens and GE came through.

DOTmed News told the story of Artie, 11, who lives in Springdale, Arkansas. He was born prematurely at 28 weeks and has had various health problems, as well as autism and developmental delay. For Christmas, he wanted a CT or MRI scanner.

Diane Fowler, a school nurse, and her husband adopted Artie eight years ago. In November 2011, he suffered a cerebral shunt infection that required long-term hospital treatment, multiple surgeries—and several CT and MRI scans.

Artie became obsessed. After a technician showed him how to hold his ears so the noise of a scanner wouldn’t bother him, Diane said:

He started to love everything about it—the vents in the top of the machine and the lights going around.

When he came home from the hospital, he watched YouTube videos about scanners. When he returns for follow-up visits, technicians let him push the button to move the scanner up and down when it’s not being used. For Halloween this year, he dressed as a radiologic tech.

So for Christmas, Artie asked for a scanner that he could sleep on. His parents managed to make him see the impracticality of that idea, so he said he’d settle for a model of a scanner.

His mother contacted GE Healthcare, which referred her to Siemens Healthcare. Siemens in the United Kingdom had developed a model MRI for play therapists to use in helping children prepare for scans. Craig Marshall, managing director of Siemens Magnet Technology in the UK, said he was happy to help.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” Marshall said. “I explained in the letter [to Fowler] that one of my cousins has an autistic son, and he has a fascination with airplanes. But airplanes are an easy interest to satisfy. Body scanners are much more difficult.”

In addition to sending the scanner model, Marshall invited the Fowlers to tour the Siemens factory if the ever visited the UK.

Meanwhile, GE also contributed. It sent a model CT scanner plus coloring books and puzzles designed to educate children about the CT scan experience, CT videos and CDs, a note from Santa to Artie, and a photo of Santa with the model CT.

So Artie will have both a CT and an MRI of his very own. Diane Fowler told Siemens, “You have no idea the happiness to unfold at our house on Christmas morning when he opens this.”

* * *

Could the long, acrimonious battle between the University of Iowa and former radiology professor Malik Juweid, MD, finally be over? Find out the latest legal maneuver on our Facebook page.

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