How the imaging department at Children’s made an impact on one patient

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Declan Stone Children's
Children’s patient Declan Stone. (Jennifer Stone)

The staff at Children’s of Alabama knows that X-rays can be a super scary experience in already stressful time for patients. We talked with one patient’s family about how a radiologist made a life-changing discovery and an X-Ray manager shares why she chose this field and how she hopes to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

Declan Stone has been a patient at Children’s for 7 years

Declan Stone news How the imaging department at Children's made an impact on one patient
Declan’s mom says he is one of the happiest kids around. (Jennifer Stone)

We talked with Jennifer Stone, the mother of Declan Stone, who’s been at Children’s for just over seven years. After countless visits and many different stays, including an 60+ day inpatient stay, she said she’s very grateful for the people at Children’s.

X-rays can be very scary, so the radiology staff plays a significant role in patients’ experiences.

“Because there have been so many X-rays and procedures done, the whole process is very traumatic for Declan. He panics when going in for X-rays so it’s always helpful to have people that are caring to help us through that process. They always talk calmly and try and explain what is happening to help keep him calm and help to relieve some of his anxiety.”

Jennifer Stone

One memory stuck out the most to Jennifer and is the reason she is so thankful for the staff at Children’s

“The most important memory I have is a trip to the ER because we thought there was a shunt malfunction. During the X-rays to evaluate things, the radiologist noticed a concern with Declan’s bone structure that was not related to what we were there for. He made the recommendation that we be evaluated by genetics, and as a result, we received a diagnosis for MPS1-Hurler Syndrome.  

Had that radiologist not noticed and known what he was looking at we could have gotten to the point that the MPS had progressed beyond the point of treatment. I will be forever grateful for this because it helped to get us treatment.”

Jennifer Stone

Declan continues to visit Children’s regularly, and according to his mother, as long as it is with his doctors at Children’s, they know he will be okay.

Meet Karen Knight, X-ray manager at Children’s

Karen Knight Pic 2 How the imaging department at Children's made an impact on one patient
Karen Knight, X-ray manager. (Children’s of Alabama)

Karen Knight is one of the incredible radiology staff members at Children’s who make patients like Declan feel so much more comfortable.

Children’s was her first job after graduating from UAB’s X-ray program, and she’s been there for 35 years. From a young age, she would visit her sister who worked in radiology where she fell in love with the idea of taking pictures of bones and instantly seeing if something was wrong with the patient.

For anyone considering the imaging field as a career, Karen couldn’t recommend it enough.

“There are so many opportunities in the Imaging field. From PACS/Imaging assistants, Imaging technologist, and Educators to administration and so much more. The field is wide open!”

Karen Knight, X-ray Manager, Children’s of Alabama

Bringing comfort to patients + their families

Children’s goes above and beyond to make the X-ray experience less scary for patients.

“We work with the child life specialist to keep patients entertained with age-appropriate tools (ipads, toys, dolls) but most recently, we acquired the Philips-ambient lighting in X-Ray room 1 at the Benjamin Russell building.

This allows the kids to enter a fantasy world of their choosing where they can forget about their fears and hopefully their pain for a moment in time.”

Karen Knight, X-ray Manager, Children’s of Alabama

There are so many perks to working in the field, but the happiness that they are able to bring patients is Karen’s favorite.

“The most rewarding part is seeing the children’s faces light up when we have special events and more specifically the parents’ faces when their child gets to go home.”

Karen Knight, X-Ray Manager, Children’s of Alabama

Check out the available radiology jobs at Children’s and learn more about the field.


Callie Puryear
Callie Puryear
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