Photos: Parents celebrate infant’s survival by helping others at Cardon Children’s
Care packages from the heart delivered for families
That really meant a lot to us, because when you're going through the worst part of your lives, a little token of kindness showed we weren’t alone.


MESA, Ariz. (Nov. 13, 2019) -- The family of Waylon Grado, who spent the first five months of his life in a pediatric ICU, celebrated the boy’s first birthday by donating care packages on Wednesday to help other families at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. 

Waylon’s parents stayed at Cardon Children’s throughout the holiday season last year as the child received extensive care for a congenital heart defect. He spent two months at Cardon and three months at a hospital in California. During the time in Arizona, the family received care packages of helpful items that brightened their day.

“That really meant a lot to us, because when you’re going through the worst part of your lives, a little token of kindness showed we weren’t alone,” said Waylon’s mom, Sarah Grado of Florence. “It showed that even people who didn’t know us were thinking of us.”

Waylon, whose first birthday was Nov. 9, is now in much better health. The family donated care bags filled with items like handcrafted lap blankets, games and comfort items designed to make life better for the loved ones of babies receiving long-term care at Cardon Children’s. Along with a personal donation and items contributed by family and friends, the donation was made possible through a social media fundraiser that gathered about $500. 

"It's a tremendous vote of confidence for the hospital, when a family wants to do this to help other families and support the team who made a difference in their child's life," said Gordon Cohen, MD PhD MBA, director of the Banner Children's Congenital Heart Program at Cardon Children's.

About Cardon Children’s Medical Center

Cardon Children’s Medical Center provides pediatric care for children, from newborns to teens. Services include immediate access to Level I trauma services and emergency care, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, general pediatrics, surgical and rehabilitation services, hematology/oncology, urology, gastroenterology, neurology and outpatient services. For more information, visit