ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — T.J. Redding gazes around Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
“This is my life, all I know, home away from home,” Redding says.
For the past 21 years, Redding went to the St. Petersburg hospital once a week to receive life-saving infusions to help bolster an immunodeficiency.
“When you come down here every week, you become a family,” Redding says.
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T.J. shared all of his life’s highs and lows with the nurses there.
“I was his first girlfriend when he was four, five, six,” days nurse Leslie Robilio. “Now he has a real girlfriend!”
T.J. finally aged out of pediatric care and is now receiving treatments at home.
He received his final infusion at the hospital on his 21st birthday. Nurses celebrated by forming a conga line. There were hugs and lots of tears.
There were also promises to keep in touch.
“I’ve watched him grow up from a little kid running around here like a maniac into an amazing young man,” says nurse Robilio.