DUBLIN, OH (WCMH) — Every year at the Memorial Tournament, the tournament recognizes eight patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
These “patient champions” get the experience of a lifetime at Muirfield Village Golf Club, from meeting Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, getting autographs from the best players in golf, to drinking one of the famous Muirfield milkshakes.
One of this year’s patient champions is 7-year-old EmmeClaire Meta.
“She likes to be in Girl Scouts and loves playing baseball outside. Wants to go to the park all the time. Typical seven-year-old,” said Jim Meta, EmmeClaire’s father.
When Jim and Beth Meta met EmmeClaire in China in 2011 to finalize her adoption, they knew something wasn’t right.
“She was 15 months old but we quickly discovered she could not crawl or barely sit up,” said Beth. “She couldn’t put weight on her legs. But there is basically no information about her, her family or anything like that. It was not until February, 15 months after she came home that she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.”
And ever since, it;s been a parade of doctors appointments, therapy sessions and more. But it’s comforting to know she is always in good hands at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“We’ve been there a long time and been in various parts of the hospital. When she goes for Botox she knows it’s going to hurt,” said Beth.
“And at the end, we get ice cream or a toy,” said EmmeClaire.
Being one of the eight patient champions is a special honor, and with it comes those special perks that EmmeClaire is excited to take part in. For instance, she really wants to meet Tiger Woods.
“She and I have been talking a lot about it. I don’t think she really gets it. But she’ll make the most of it. She’ll be a star,” said Jim.