Northland family appreciates St. Jude's despite their loss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Rechtien family will never forget even as they forge ahead without Annie.

They won't forget Annie, their beloved daughter and sister, and they won't forget the superb treatment they said she received at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis.

Annie was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 5. She received radiation treatments for two months at St. Jude's, but eventually succumbed to cancer nearly two years ago when she was 6 years old. Despite their loss, Robert and Kathleen Rechtien raved about the care she received. 

"The best part about St. Jude's health care is that it's completely seamless," Kathleen said.

She was impressed with the speed and efficiency of the medical care, as well as the hospital's thoroughness. The family also appreciated the compassion they experienced. 

"It was just a feeling of family that they gave us," Robert said. "It wasn't just a patient to them. They really cared about us and about Annie."

Annie's older sister, 9-year-old Mary Catherine, said she appreciated being able to work on an art project with her sister at St. Jude's. The two decorated a backyard swing with words and pictures. 

"It was like you got to say goodbye before she died," Mary Catherine said. She said the swing helped her have one last connection with Annie that she can cherish the rest of her life.

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