published Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

T.C. Thompson unveils CT scanner for children

by Emily Bregel
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Feb 22, 2011 - Byron Stutz, Chief Radiologic Technologist for T. C. Thompson Children's Hospital, talks about the recently installed Emily Ransom CT Scanner at Monday's unveiling.

Aiming to make CT scans safer and less scary for young patients, T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital unveiled a new 64-slice CT scanner Tuesday, the only dedicated pediatric scanner in the region, officials said.

The Western-themed scan room and waiting area was funded in part by $300,000 raised by Wendy and Jonathon Ransom, whose daughter Emily died from the cancer neuroblastoma in 2006, four months after her diagnosis at age 2.

The parents founded Emily's Power for a Cure to raise money for the scanner, which reduces radiation exposure by up to 40 percent and can scan a child's body in seconds, said Bryon Stutz, chief radiologic technologist at T.C. Thompson.

Emily's painted image -- wearing a pink cowgirl hat over her blonde hair and holding the reins of a brown and white pony -- appears in a Wild West mural scene in the waiting room.

"I am humbled and honored to be her mom," said Wendy Ransom, standing with her husband and three children in the waiting area during a news conference Tuesday. "This is so far beyond what we dreamed it would be."

The T.C. Thompson Children's Foundation raised $900,000, including the Ransoms' donation, to fund the $1.2 million project, said Dr. Alan Kohrt, senior vice president of children's services.

Previously, pediatric patients had to undergo CT scans in the adult hospital, where staff were not as familiar with working with young patients, he said. The children's hospital has three new pediatric radiologists, he said.

"This is an absolutely great addition to Children's Hospital," he said.

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about Emily Bregel...

Health care reporter Emily Bregel has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press since July 2006. She previously covered banking and wrote for the Life section. Emily, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. She received a first-place award for feature writing from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Contest for a 2009 article about a boy with a congenital heart defect. She ...

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