Skip to main content
Find a DoctorGet Care Now
Skip to main content








During a trip to the beach, YNHCH Pediatric ICU patient Eliana Palacio required special equipment and transport, and constant monitoring and care. Some of the many people involved in the effort were (l-r): John Mcfarland, supervisor, American Medical Response (AMR); Critical Care Transport team members Molly Byron, flight paramedic; Alistair Holmes, RN, flight nurse; Tracie Battipaglia, RN, flight nurse; Fraser Weir, flight paramedic; and Christopher Amendola, flight paramedic; and AMR EMTs Brian Lombard and Mike Montanaro.

YNHCH, community, come together to grant a special wish  

All it took was a comment from the grandmother of a Pediatric ICU patient.

Fraser Weir, a paramedic with Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Critical Care Transport team, was visiting 4-year-old Eliana Palacio in the PICU last month. Her grandmother Karen Dole mentioned how much Eliana loved the beach, but Eliana’s extremely fragile condition made it impossible for her to leave the hospital. 

Or so her family thought.

It took a “Herculean team effort,” Weir said, but on July 12, Eliana got to feel the ocean breeze and warm sun and hear the waves at New Haven’s Lighthouse Point Park. It would be her last trip to the beach. Eliana passed away July 22.

YNHCH staff and physicians had gotten close to Eliana and her family since she was hospitalized in January. Eliana had mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare, untreatable genetic disorder that reduces the number of energy-producing mitochondria in the cells. 

For her trip to the beach, Eliana was transported by ambulance, and accompanied by medical personnel, including YNHCH physicians, nurses and members of the Pediatric Critical Care Transport team, who closely monitored and cared for her. 

Dozens of family members and friends were at the beach to greet Eliana and her parents, Christine and Richard. Make-A-Wish Connecticut worked with local businesses and the New Haven Parks and Recreation Department to provide a picnic for the guests, complete with balloons, pictures of Eliana and other special touches. First responders also pitched in to make the day special, including teams from American Medical Response, firefighters, and police officers from throughout the state, who brought comfort dogs.

“I can’t say enough about all the people who got involved to make this happen,” Weir said. “The fact that we were able to give this to Eliana’s family – it’s an incredible feeling.”