NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Under the Rainbow, the semi-annual magazine for Batson Children's Hospital/Children's of Mississippi. A PDF of that issue can be found here.
If the bill for services rendered to Christopher Stamps Jr. had been completely accurate, said his father, it would have said his family owed this much to Dr. Gail Megason: “Everything.”
Anyway, that's the view of Christopher Stamps Sr., whose older son, now 7, is free of the pain, swelling, vision problems, infections and more associated with sickle cell anemia, thanks to the skills of the Children's Cancer Center team led by Megason, professor of pediatrics and clinic director.
“This hospital, this state and these children are fortunate to have her,” Stamps said.
The Department of Pediatrics, which includes the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, has had Megason since her return to the Medical Center in 1994; from that point on, the department has recorded about 200 pediatric bone marrow transplants; that number for 2016 alone was 10.
Because Megason and her team make a living pursuing and foiling a killer, it should surprise no one that the Gulfport native fills some of her spare time absorbing murder mysteries and tracking down antiques - mostly for the challenge of the hunt.
More surprising, possibly, is the fact that the woman who works so hard to fight cancer in young patients had once vowed she would never be a pediatrician.