Exchange student, family praise Sparrow’s care

Cosmetic bags made by Tanja Mueller, Patient's mother

Stephen Guertin, M.D., Medical Director of the Sparrow Children’s Center, is skilled at making parents feel at ease.

His calming voice was the reassurance a German couple needed when their teenaged daughter was hospitalized at Sparrow in November 2013. They were so touched by Dr. Guertin’s extraordinary care that they recently mailed homemade gifts for his other young Patients.

Luca Mueller, 17, formerly an exchange student at Grand Ledge High School, was experiencing extreme pain and went to Sparrow for treatment. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

Guertin made regular phone calls to the girl’s family in Germany until they could travel to the United States to bring her home.

“We are very thankful Luca was in such capable hands at Sparrow,” said Tanja Mueller, Luca’s mother. “She is doing very well today and is living a very active and happy life with barely any limitations.”

Luca is now 18, in her final year of high school and will graduate early next year.

“We really were dealing with two families – her biological parents and her host family,” said Dr. Guertin. “Both families did everything they could to make sure she did well. She faced the disease with optimism.”

Tanja enjoys sewing and recently mailed dozens of small bags she made, and filled with cosmetics, to Lansing from Germany for Patients at the Sparrow Children’s Center.

“I would be grateful if the bags can be enlightening to them,” Tanja said. “We still remember how much Luca appreciated the handmade quilt she received during her time at Sparrow.”

The Muellers will travel to Michigan this summer and plan to visit Sparrow to see Dr. Guertin and the team of Caregivers who provided quality, compassionate care to Luca.

Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.