CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Most children visit the doctor once a year for routine checkups, but three-year-old Katie Webb has a team of 15 specialists who care for her.
Last year, Katie's mother Leigh Ann drove 5,400 miles to doctors' offices.
"We have a minimum of four appointments a week scheduled every week," said Webb.
Katie's issues began at birth. She spent nearly 100 days in the hospital that first year. She was born with a rare genetic disorder, small optic nerves, and a bilateral cleft lip and palate. But the most serious problem is Katie's pituitary gland, known by doctors as the master gland, does not function.
"It tells your heart rate, your blood pressure, your blood sugar, your thyroid, your growth, everything you don't think of, it tells it to work and to function," said Webb.
It means routine illnesses could lead to hospital stays. Fortunately, there are medicines that help, four of which Katie takes daily.
And where many people might see obstacles, Leigh Ann remains encouraged. Doctors initially thought Katie wouldn't be able to see, but she does, so her mom sees nothing but a bright and positive future for both Kate and her older sister Sarah.
Leigh Ann is grateful for all of the support she's received from the entire staff at Levine Children's Hospital.
"No one says when I grow up I want to have a kid that's going to need hospitalization or be medically complex. No one says that, it's not on your to-do list, but when it does happen, having the great staff and the great folks surrounding you is such a blessing," Webb said.
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