For Valentine's Day, USOA Teen 2023 brings love and thanks to Swedish

February 14, 2024 Swedish Communications

Brooklyn Perdomo, a former United States of America's Miss Teen Washington and current national title holder, knows what it's like to be hospitalized, so she's committed to spreading as much joy as she can to young patients at Swedish.  

Brooklyn Perdomo is United States of America Teen 2023, and a queen of hearts at Swedish. Adorned with her crown and sash, Perdomo made a special Valentine's Day visit to Swedish's First Hill campus, where she passed out treats to patients and caregivers on the pediatric unit. The former Miss Teen Washington also visited with young patients at Swedish last year on  Valentine's Day.  

“I know how scary it can be to be in the hospital, especially over a holiday. I wanted to make their day a bit better. I also think it helps to see someone who’s been there before and can relate,” says Perdomo, who knows firsthand what it's like to be a patient. 

Perdomo shared some treats with a young patient and their family member. 

In 2022, she came to Swedish for surgery to correct a condition called pectus excavatum, which causes the sternum to sink into the chest and put pressure on the heart and lungs.  

Though she was a cheer and track athlete in high school, the condition made it difficult for her to get enough air in her lungs.

“I used to really not enjoy running because I was only getting about 70% of the oxygen I needed into my lungs. But since I had surgery, running is really enjoyable for me,” she says.  

Reversing pectus excavatum is achieved by inserting metal rods into the chest to support the sternum and keep it from pressing on the lungs.

“It was scary to need surgery, but the nurses and doctors made me feel so comfortable,” says Perdomo. “They helped keep me calm before surgery, and they took such wonderful care of me.”

Perdomo talks with Swedish caregivers during her Valentine's Day visit to the First Hill pediatric unit.  

As someone who likes to be active, Perdomo knows how hard it can be to stay in the hospital.

“I tell people to reach out to friends and talk to them,” she says. “But also, to think of it as a chance to relax. The nurses really take such good care of you. They would always bring me a heated blanket, or snacks or whatever. My advice to other kids who have to be in the hospital is to just try to enjoy relaxing a little bit.”  

About Providence Swedish

Providence Swedish has served the Puget Sound region since the first Providence hospital opened in Seattle in 1877 and the first Swedish hospital opened in 1910. The two organizations affiliated in 2012 and today comprise the largest health care delivery system in Western Washington, with 22,000 caregivers, eight hospitals and 244 clinics. A not-for-profit family of organizations, Providence Swedish provides more than $406 million in community benefit in the Puget Sound Region each year. The health system offers a comprehensive range of services and specialty and subspecialty care in a number of clinical areas, including cancer, cardiovascular health, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive health and women’s and children’s care. 

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