Rayne Deuel
Rayne Deuel
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Rayne Deuel

Heather and Chris Deuel’s daughter, Rayne, was just seven years old when she was diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor that would require surgery. At Children’s of Mississippi, the Deuel family found the medical expertise and the loving care to help them through the most terrifying experience of their lives.

“The doctors and nurses talked to us, but they also talked to Rayne on her level, so she could understand what was happening,” Heather says. “Every little detail of that long hospital stay was about keeping Rayne not just comfortable, but happy. They brought her coloring books and wrote her prescriptions for ice cream. They popped popcorn for her while she and her daddy watched movies in bed. Everyone from the doctors and nurses to the housekeeping staff were so attentive to her every need. Their care was intentional. You have to love children to create that environment. The most important thing for me as her mom was seeing that, even in the hospital, Rayne was still happy. In fact, they had to call the room once and ask her to stop dancing around because her monitoring equipment was going crazy.”

A week after the surgery, the relieved Deuel family learned that Rayne’s tumor was not malignant.

What Rayne remembers most about her brain surgery isn’t the many long trips she made to the imaging unit for noisy MRIs, the three weeks she spent in the hospital, or even how long it took her thick, dark hair to grow back.

“The night before my brain surgery, the nurses came into my room with a bottle of nail polish and doctor’s orders to give me a purple pedicure,” Rayne says with a smile. “The hospital was mostly just fun.”

Because Rayne’s doctor carefully made his surgical incision in the part of Rayne’s hair, there are no visible scars left from her battle with the tumor, just a joke that’s become Rayne’s favorite to share with new friends.

“Why did they call it a two-mur when I only had one?” Rayne says, holding up two fingers with a giggle, then adds as her fingers form a zero, “And now, I can call it no-mur.”