Girl Spent Months in Hospital Fighting Cancer as a Child, Can Now See Old Hospital Room from College Dorm Window

As Martin Dorey moved his daughter, Maggie, into her college dorm, he spotted the hospital room where she battled cancer as a child from the dorm window. He tweeted about the moment and was reconnected with a nurse that helped save Maggie's life and inspired his second child's name.

When Martin Dorey dropped his 18-year-old daughter, Maggie, off at college at the University of West England, he opened her dorm room to an emotional surprise — from the dorm window, he could see her former room at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. “It felt like we had come full circle,” Dorey told The Washington Post. “It was a significant moment in Maggie’s life.”

When Maggie was a toddler, she spent six months battling acute myeloblastic leukemia, a cancer that is found in the bone marrow and blood. She endured several months of chemotherapy and intensive treatment. “It was just awful,” said Dorey. “I just remember feeling numb.” But, Maggie was a fighter. “Maggie never really let it get a hold of her,” he said. Dorey said that, throughout her hospital stay, “everyone was absolutely phenomenal.”

One evening in particular, Maggie was given a new chemo drug that sent her into anaphylactic shock, meaning her airways began to close. Two young nurses, Charlotte and Charlie, immediately sprang into action and saved Maggie’s life. “They acted really quickly and got adrenaline into her and, basically, saved her life,” Dorey said, adding that she is now healthy and in remission.

At the time, Maggie’s mother was pregnant with their second child, who they named “Charlotte” after the nurses that saved their daughter’s life.

Seventeen years later, Charlotte Higby, one of the nurses that evening, found a tweet from Dorey. 

The tweet went viral after Higby commented, “Wow — that gives me goosebumps! As a nurse who looked after Maggie all those years ago, I can’t tell you how much this post means. Have an amazing time Maggie.”

Dorey responded and told Higby that she is the reason his second daughter is named Charlie. Higby said that she has never forgotten that night, and called the name choice “lovely.”

With the attention that the Twitter exchange brought on, Dorey has decided to raise money for several organizations that support children with life-threatening illnesses. “It’s an opportunity and we shouldn’t miss it, because there are kids who are still being diagnosed and parents who are going through awful things,” Dorey said.

His daughter’s illness taught him to “never take anything for granted” and “be grateful for everything you have.”

Image source: BBC