Baptist Health South Florida, Bethesda Hospital East


April 15, 2022

Boynton Beach, FL, April 15, 2022 –Krystal, her son Ari and husband Andrew recently visited Bethesda Hospital East to reunite with nurse Cindie.

In March 2020, Krystal Wallick was working as a professional development manager at a major education company and was seven months pregnant with her third child when her entire department was laid off due to COVID-19. Like many other moms around the country, she buckled down and started virtual schooling, wondering how the family would continue to make ends meet. Then in June 2020, she gave birth to their son Ari. Within minutes of delivery, his lungs collapsed and he was rushed to the NICU for life-saving medical treatment.

At his bedside, Wallick decided to start writing using one of her nurses, Cindie, as an inspirational character in her story. In order to bring peace of mind, she wrote that Ari was on a wild imaginary jungle adventure, away from all the bad, scary things in the hospital. Once Ari got home, after 13 total days in the NICU, Wallick realized how much this story could help other families dealing with tough situations, and she knew she had to turn towards publishing.

While Ari’s story begins in the hospital, challenge and bravery comes in many forms, shapes and sizes: nightmares, monsters under the bed, bumps and bruises. At times, events in a child’s life can seem almost insurmountable when viewed from his or her perspective. But with imagination and empowerment, any battle can be won. That is the message that you will take away from Ari the Brave’s Jungle Journey! All children (and adults) can benefit from the messages of bravery, inner strength and resilience portrayed in the Ari the Brave series.

A huge thank you to Krystal Wallick and her family for the book donation to Bethesda’s NICU and pediatric departments.

Do you have a nurse that had an impact on your life? Honor them with a gift today at

About Bethesda Hospital East and West

Bethesda Hospital East and Bethesda Hospital West are part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, more than 24,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

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