Paying it Forward

Author | Lauren Crawford

Top photo by Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography

Hannah Cheriyan was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Close to asphyxiation, she was airlifted to U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and placed on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, or ECMO, machine, where she remained for days. Almost 22 years later, Cheriyan is now a first-year medical student and fellow in the U-M Medical Scientist Training Program, and she has even worked in the very lab that saved her life. At the 2015 White Coat Ceremony, she was cloaked by Robert Bartlett (M.D. 1963), professor emeritus of surgery, credited with developing ECMO.

[Being cloaked by Bartlett] hit home how long this journey has been for me — from NICU baby to thriving med student — and also for Dr. Bartlett and ECMO. The children he saved years ago are growing up, having their own lives and leaving their own marks on the world. I'm glad that he could be there to cloak me, to see the tremendous impact he has had on my life! —Hannah Cheriyan

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