For many, having a baby is an exciting journey—a time to plan the arrival of a tiny new miracle. For Kendra and Anthony, it was a time of fear, uncertainty and wondering if they’d ever see their baby smile or hear her bubbly chatter.
A routine ultrasound revealed that their daughter, Kennedy, had a brain abnormality. The couple was referred to our Cincinnati Fetal Care Center, where further testing also revealed hydronephrosis, a condition that caused Kennedy’s left kidney to swell because urine couldn’t drain properly to the bladder.
Kendra remembers the stressful pregnancy like it was yesterday, rather than 13 years ago. “We didn’t know how these issues might affect Kennedy later,” she says softly. “It was a scary time.”
After she was born, Kennedy was in and out of our urology clinic to treat her kidney condition. She also saw several other specialists to help with her brain malformation. Some days were harder than others, but through it all, Kendra felt lucky to have world-class care so close to home.
“From registration on, everyone works with our specific needs. If I call or email with a question, there’s a quick response. And there isn’t a single doctor Kennedy doesn’t feel comfortable talking to.”
Care You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
This caliber of care and dedication to the family experience explains why U.S. News & World Report ranked our urology program No. 2 in the country.
And it’s also because of world-renowned experts, including Pramod Reddy, MD, who call Cincinnati Children’s home. Dr. Reddy has dedicated his life to helping children with urologic conditions get the safest, most effective care.
When it comes to treating kids with complex health issues, Dr. Reddy knows the best path to healing follows a multidisciplinary approach.
“We understand that no single specialty is going to have all the answers,” he explains. “We mobilize all the experts we need. It’s one of our greatest strengths.”
As the director of our Division of Pediatric Urology, Dr. Reddy is devoted to giving children the ability to enjoy life and to be more than just their medical condition.
“There is a beautiful human being wrapped around the organs we treat,” he says warmly. “We have to take care of the individual first.”
His approach goes back to a philosophy known as cura personalis—a Latin phrase meaning “care for the whole person.” It’s one of the things that sets Cincinnati Children’s apart, and why families travel to us from all over the country and around the world.
Advancing a Legacy of Discovery
Great care starts with innovative science and discovery. Our focus on research leads to best-in-class care for our patients with urologic conditions, as well as new methods of prevention.
“One of the most common areas of birth defects is the urologic system,” Dr. Reddy notes. “Studying normal kidney and bladder function in the lab allows our physicians to understand how these changes occur on a molecular level.”
Like Dr. Reddy, the late William P. Mulvaney, MD, dedicated his career to improving outcomes for those suffering from urologic disorders.
His research in laser treatments during the 1960s was recognized by the American Urological Society as a breakthrough that drastically reduced the need for traditional surgery.
And much of that groundbreaking work was done right here at Cincinnati Children’s.
Thanks to Dr. Mulvaney’s advancements, urologic surgeries for children are now safer, more precise and less invasive.
Dr. Mulvaney’s family would tell you he didn’t do it for the recognition. He was simply dedicated to sparing kids the pain and expense of surgery. “He focused his career on the human side of medicine,” says his daughter, Kathy.
In his will Dr. Mulvaney asked his children to direct a charitable gift to a worthy nonprofit of their choosing.
“He always believed in helping people through research,” his son, Terry, says. “That made me think of Cincinnati Children’s right away.”
The family generously gave a gift to fund research, education and global outreach.
Urology often gets overlooked when it comes to community support. And while urologic conditions affect many children, they aren’t widely discussed.
In honor of his contributions to the field, a lectureship within our urology workshop was named after Dr. Mulvaney. This unique, interactive program continues his legacy by training the next generation of urologists.
Bound and Determined
Today, Kennedy is doing just what our care team wants for every child we treat—enjoying life.
She’s a hardworking seventh grader who loves to bake and is passionate about tennis.
Last year, Kennedy got to meet one of her heroes, international tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza.
“She loves to play,” Kendra says, proudly showing photos of her smiling daughter posing with Muguruza. “Seeing her get to do things like this has been a blessing. Kennedy is truly amazing to me.”
Dr. Reddy and his team are looking to a future of improving outcomes and the quality of life for more children like Kennedy.
“I love coming to work, because every day is a good day when you help a child,” Dr. Reddy says, smiling. “We want to get these kids back to being healthy and having fun. What better calling could we have?”