Kansas City,
09:24 AM

Kansas City Star: Teen who walked on life support goes home after 457 days at Children's Mercy

By Andy Marso

Zei Uwadia went home Thursday after 457 days at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

But it wasn’t the end of her mysterious medical story. It was just one more step in a journey that has made history.

Zei (pronounced “Zay”) gained national attention last year when she became the first Children's Mercy patient to walk while on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, a particularly invasive form of life support.

Hundreds of thousands of people watched her walking on videos posted online by The Star, CNN and her mom, Brie Kerschen.

The soft-spoken, iron-willed teen walked the hospital halls one last time on Thursday, tall and smiling, one day before her 17th birthday. Staff members who have become like family lined both sides of her path, applauding and wiping tears.

“I’m excited to have more freedom,” Zei said this week. “I won’t be confined to this room or the hospital halls. I can go outside. I’ll feel more normal. Not completely normal, but more.”



Read the full story via the Kansas City Star

See more of Zei's story on Inside Pediatrics

Learn more about the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Mercy