17:05 PM

Paul Rudd to narrate 'Inside Pediatrics' TV series featuring Children's Mercy families

Inside Pediatrics, a six-part documentary series narrated by Kansas City native and actor Paul Rudd, will premiere next week on KMBC-TV Channel 9 in Kansas City.

Coolfire Studios filmed for over three months at the hospital, capturing real and powerful moments from Children's Mercy patients, families, doctors and nurses. Cameras went inside the clinics and operating rooms, inside the families' experiences and inside the hearts and minds of the medical staff that provide transformational care for the children in the Kansas City region and beyond.

"This is a very personal project for me," Rudd says. "I get to meet these remarkable kids every year when I visit Children's Mercy for our Big Slick Weekend [the annual fundraiser hosted by Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, David Koechner and Eric Stonestreet]. I don't think anyone can understand what happens every day at a hospital like this unless you're here, and you meet the families and the staff. Inside Pediatrics takes you there, and the stories are very real and powerful."

Camera crews flew with the transport team as a child was transported to Children's Mercy with a mysterious illness; they spent weeks at bedsides learning how families cope with the birth of a newborn whose chances are slim and how brave the tiniest patients can be; and they spoke candidly with physicians and staff about their personal triumphs and losses.

Inside Pediatrics follows 28 patients from 22 different cities, across five different states. Among them, viewers will meet Chad and Joanna, who discover their unborn baby has a hole in his diaphragm causing his organs to shift, crowding his heart and lungs. The likelihood of survival with the damage to his heart and lungs is questionable. 10-year-old Julio, who travels three hours to Kansas City for treatment, had a successful kidney transplant six months prior but the disease is now attacking the transplanted kidney. Doctors introduce alternative therapies to treat him. Nelijah is a 13-year-old athlete preparing for the fall sports season when his routine physical results in a quick referral to Children's Mercy. Cardiologists discover a mass in his heart which requires an urgent heart surgery. Viewers experience it all.

The one-hour series premiere will kick off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17 on KMBC-TV 9. The full schedule of dates and times are as follows:

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17 (episodes 1 and 2)
  • 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 18 (episode 3)
  • 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 (episode 4)
  • Midnight, Sunday, Dec. 21 (episodes 5 and 6)

The episodes also will be re-shown on KCWE 29 on the following dates and times:

  • 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 (episodes 1 through 4)
  • 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21 (episodes 5 and 6)

Take a closer look at the patients featured in the televised broadcast as well as the doctors, nurses and specialists who work on their behalf at InsidePediatrics.com, where episodes and bonus content will be available. Viewers can also join the conversation on Facebook.com/InsidePediatrics and on Twitter @ChildrensMercy using the hashtag #InsidePediatrics.