Kapiolani's Wall of Hope displays images and stories of former patients in the hopes to support and inspire current patients and their families as they brave their own medical journey.

Bethanie Grace Dela Cruz


“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Bethanie Grace Dela CruzWhen Bethanie Grace Dela Cruz was born, she weighed only 1 pound 10 ounces. 

Her early arrival required a 200-day stay in the Kapiolani Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, during which she received numerous procedures and surgeries to treat complications that arose due to her premature birth. 

“She was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity at 4 months old, pulmonary hypertension when she was 6 months old, and failure to thrive at 11 months old,” says her dad, Ben Dela Cruz, noting she also had reflux, difficulty feeding and anemia early on in life. 

“Every time she had a new diagnosis, I would sit down and pray to God asking for help. I asked him to give Bethanie a chance to live a life that all of us are blessed with,” Ben says. 

Ben’s prayers were answered in the form of three NICU nurses who volunteered to be Bethanie’s primaries. 

“They are the three most wonderful people I have ever met,” Ben says. “They cared for Bethanie like she was their own. They would give us additional updates and try new things with her; they learned her likes and dislikes; and most importantly, they were patient with me! We are so thankful that we met those three; I really didn’t know how to thank them enough.” 

Ben and wife Estefanie were so grateful for these nurses that they eventually became Bethanie’s “Primary Godmothers.” 

“I wanted them to be part of Bethanie for the rest of her life. Till this day we are all still friends, and they come to visit Bethanie at our home every so often,” Ben says. 

Bethanie is now almost 2 years old and is a very active, happy little girl. She no longer requires medications, and there are no signs of pulmonary hypertension. 

“I am still worried till this day, but we are doing well,” Ben reports. “Bethanie still has some developing to do, but we are doing really well. 

“To the doctors, nurses and staff of Kapiolani Medical Center, THANK YOU for saving our daughter’s life,” Ben says. “Please continue to make miracles happen every day. These little angles deserve a chance to live life – please continue to help them get that chance.”



Bethanie was featured on KITV for the segment "Beautiful Survivors" in November 2017. Watch her story of courage, hope and inspiration unfold in the video below, or click here to read more.



Published on: October 30, 2017