CONTACT: COLEEN MADDY
8798 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: June 3, 1999
Local youth is featured on Childrens Miracle
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Emergency medical personnel saw
little chance for survival for eight-year-old Kaleb Stebens of Davenport after
a truck with a drunken driver at the wheel slammed into his bicycle and dragged
him for more than 50 feet.
His terror-stricken mother, Stephanie, took one look
at Kaleb and thought, "There's no hope for him." The impact had ripped open
the left side of his head, exposing his brain and leaving his ear dangling.
The gritty battle to save his life and his remarkable
recovery will be recounted during the 17th annual Children's Miracle Network
(CMN) "Weekend of Champions" that will air on four Iowa stations including
WQAD-TV Channel 8 from 8 p.m. June 5 until 5 p.m. June 6. Portions of the
21-hour program will be telecast live from the University of Iowa Hospitals
and Clinics in Iowa City. CMN has raised more than $8 million to support pediatric
services at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
The national telecast is aired from Walt Disney World
in Orlando, Fla., and features a host of celebrities including Marie Osmond
and John Schneider. The Osmond family, Mick Shannon, Joe Lake and John Schneider
launched CMN nationally in 1983; UI Hospitals and Clinics joined the program
a year later.
All of the money raised locally goes to UI Hospitals
and Clinics for equipment, research and items to make the children's stay
The Kaleb Stebens drama began about 8 p.m. on June
2, 1998. An emergency crew took him to the Genesis Medical Center East Campus
where he was examined by surgeons David Arnold and Eugene Collins. Almost
immediately they decided the only chance Kaleb had was to receive specialized
treatment at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
An air care helicopter flew him to Iowa City where
a trauma team headed by neurosurgeon Arnold Menezes stood by. "He had lost
a significant part of the left side of his skull," Menezes said. "There was
an opening in the covering of the brain and he had brains coming out of his
skull. There was road debris, including rocks, right against the brain. Despite
those massive injuries, I was confident we could save him."
In Menezes' opinion, Kaleb survived because of the
instant availability of diagnostic procedures, getting him into the operating
room right away and the presence of the diversified operating
Today, Kaleb is "doing real
well," said his mother, herself a nurse. Looking at Kaleb, you'd never know
he is the same youngster so near death a year ago.
The UI Hospitals and Clinics telecast features hosts
Mike Kleinstub, WQAD-TV, Channel 8, Quad Cities; Mollie Cooney, KCCI-TV, Channel
8, Des Moines; Michele Hall and Brian Roche, KGAN-TV, Channel 2, Cedar Rapids;
and Pete Hjelmstad and Amy Kuns, KIMT-TV, Channel 3, Mason City, asking viewers
to call in pledges.
In addition to videotaped stories featuring children
who received treatment at the Children's Hospital at UI Hospitals and Clinics,
the telecast spotlights current young patients. It also portrays CMN sponsors
manning telephone banks in the main studio where the hosts chat with volunteers
and others who played a major role in raising money for CHI during the year.