Nurse practitioner Patricia Kent, MS, RN, CPNP, of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Cancer Center excels at guiding children and their parents through life-changing illness.
Patricia helped Matthew Cirelli cope with cancer and keep up with his life as a high school senior determined to graduate and attend his high school prom. Patricia adapted Matthew’s treatment schedule and called to check in on him after cycles of inpatient chemotherapy. “Just what every kid wants — two moms,” Matthew wryly told his mother, Barbara, after Patricia looked in on him during a hospital stay.
“With great kindness as well as wit, humor and patience, Patricia gained Matthew’s trust,” says Barbara. “She understands that it’s hard enough being a teen, let alone having to deal with cancer.”
When first-grader Matt Gerace was diagnosed with leukemia, Patricia visited his school to help his classmates understand what he was going through and pave the way for his return.
“Patricia wanted to know Matt’s total outlook,” says Ron, Matt’s father. “He was studying guitar and playing lacrosse and soccer. She coached him on handling challenges beyond treatment.
“Pediatric cancers affect a child’s sense of well-being. And young children aren’t sure why all this is happening to them. Every day, Patricia sees kids who are facing the ultimate challenge and parents who hang onto her every word. Patricia changed our lives and will always be special to us.”