Patrick Ivison

It all happened in an instant: 14-month-old Patrick Ivison – just learning how to walk – was with his mom when a car backed up suddenly, pinning the little boy under the wheel. Patrick spent six weeks at Rady Children’s, diagnosed with a C4 incomplete spinal cord injury. Now 18, Patrick is a quadriplegic.

And, yet, this is a story of joy. Patrick’s indomitable spirit has shone through since the day at Rady Children’s when he laughed for the first time since his accident. That’s when his mom, Jennifer, knew everything would be okay.

As a Miracle Maker – and an engaging young man heading off to college – Patrick is an inspiration. He lives life to its fullest, and he made a promise to give back to the Hospital that saved his life.

He helps raise funds for Rady Children’s by participating in the Radiothon as a miracle patient and coordinating toy drives as one of ‘AJ’s Kids,’ supporting Disk Jockey A.J. Machado during his week-long stay in a crane to raise funds for Rady Children’s.

Even more, he is a tireless advocate for the Hospital and its patients, speaking at events – including interviewing CEO Kathleen Sellick at the Annual Meeting – and mentoring young patients undergoing similar treatments, visiting them and sharing his experiences.

In 2011, Patrick was selected as a Miracle Maker Patient and adopted by the Jeff and Jer Showgram during the KyXy Holiday of Miracles Radiothon. Patrick’s fundraising efforts during the Radiothon resulted in more than $10,000 for Rady Children’s patients!

Today, Patrick is a quad rugby player, motivational speaker and adaptive surfer, even traveling around the world to film a surf documentary.

Patrick’s mom was also so inspired by the nurses at Rady Children’s that she went back to school – and in May 2011 – graduated from nursing school and is now a nurse on the Medical Unit at Rady Children's.

“Being in a wheelchair has taught me to focus on my abilities,” he says, “Rather than my disability."

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