Meet Kid HERO Tristan!

Tristan smiling with a HERO thank you card

Tristan, Kid HERO Crew Member

In June 2019, Tristan began limping and complaining of pain in his right knee, so his parents took him to the pediatrician. Tristan’s doctor decided to order an x-ray and it turned out that Tristan had what appeared to be a non-ossifying fibroma in his upper right femur, which turned out to be large and at risk for breaking the bone. Tristan’s pediatrician immediately made a referral to DHMC, and Tristan and his parents met with Dr. William McKinnon in Orthopaedics.

Tristan in a car with thumbs up!

Dr. McKinnon immediately made Tristan’s parents feel at ease with his compassionate and caring manner, and it was very apparent he possessed an incredible knowledge of the condition Tristan was diagnosed with. Tristan quickly warmed to Dr. McKinnon, who spoke directly to Tristan and treated him with such respect and kindness. They formed a friendship over the next several meetings and learned they had a shared love for nature and science. Dr. McKinnon always had some sort of fact about nature or animals that he shared with Tristan. Knowing he would see Tristan again, Dr. McKinnon would give Tristan a fact to research, so they could talk about it the next time they met. Tristan even drew pictures for Dr. McKinnon, which he hung in his office.

Tristan at CHaD similing

Tristan at CHaD

Dr. McKinnon’s recommendation to Tristan’s parents was that Tristan have surgery to correct the problem. Surgery for any person can induce anxiety, but that anxiousness can be amplified when it is your child. Tristan’s parents had already talked about the idea of getting a second opinion if the recommendation were to be surgical intervention. Dr. McKinnon did a great job of anticipating this, and had already consulted with a colleague of his at Boston Children’s Hospital about Tristan’s case. Tristan’s parents felt Dr. McKinnon was truly valuing their son and were impressed he had the forethought to already consult with a colleague about this case. That consultation of Dr. McKinnon’s enabled Tristan’s parents to avoid undue delay in addressing their son’s health issue.

Tristan at his bed at CHaD

Tristan at CHaD

Tristan underwent surgery days later. It was a scary time for the whole family, and especially Tristan. However, the whole experience was made exponentially better by the care they received from DHMC, Dr. McKinnon, the entire surgical team, the nurses who cared for Tristan (Nurse Ross was Tristan’s favorite!), the occupational and physical therapists who worked with Tristan prior to discharge, and the entire CHaD crew.

Tristan on a boat

Tristan kayaking

Tristan enjoying some water activities

In the fall of 2019, Tristan and his mom visited David’s House and dropped off a donation of paper goods and baked goods. Tristan felt good being able to give back and help another family. Tristan has healed from his surgeries, and is a happy, healthy 7 year old! – Tristan’s mom, Emily

Join Tristan for his first year participating in the CHaD HERO! Register today at

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