Happy Birthday, Granville! 4-year-old N.C. boy’s hospital room decorated to celebrate

Granville Whitener celebrated his fourth birthday at Levine Children's Hospital.
Granville Whitener celebrated his fourth birthday at Levine Children's Hospital.(Provided by Family)
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Happy Birthday, Granville! This Caldwell County boy just turned 4-years old. His mom says the staff at Levine Children’s Hospital came in and decorated his room Tuesday morning to celebrate.

You might remember Granville Whitener from last fall. He got COVID-19 and pneumonia and was in LCH with a tube in his back that pumped out the infection. He survived that awful ordeal and was happily sent back home to Hudson, much to his family’s joy.

Tuesday, on his birthday, this sweet boy is back in the hospital - this time with Flu B.

“The doctors here did a CT scan and saw more fluid on his lower left lung last week,” mom Ashley Whitener said. “They told me that it’s still from the infection/fluid from last fall when he had COVID and pneumonia. I wasn’t sure how long we’d be here but just this morning, his team came in and said hopefully we can go home this week, just depends on how much infection they get out of lung each day. Possibly going home is the best birthday gift of all.”

When Granville was born, his lungs were collapsed and most of his organs were in his chest cavity. A large portion of his diaphragm was also missing. That latter part had a name: Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, or CDH. At 7-days-old, he got a new diaphragm. Seven months after that, he got yet another new one. Doctors were also able to place his organs back in their original spots in what was a pretty amazing procedure, and his lungs work well.

His mom has always called him a miracle.

“It’s why we were so scared when he got COVID,” Ashley said. “We knew the aftermath would make him weak. My grandmother also died of COVID last fall so we knew the dangers. I’m happy to report that my husband and I got the vaccine. We wish we could get it for Granville but he’s too young. I know everyone has a personal decision on if they want to get vaccinated, but we are adamantly aware of how people with compromised immune systems can be impacted. We want him protected.”

Happy 4th birthday, Granville and kudos to the nurses and staff who not only brought balloons and cake, but had a few gifts wrapped up, too.


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