Doctor turned camp director nominated as Oklahoma Hero

Tuesday, July 29th 2008, 6:20 pm
By: News 9

"It just wouldn't be children's without Danny. He's the best part of the hospital."

Hundreds were nominated by their neighbors, loved ones or friends, and somehow we've narrowed the list of 2007 Oklahoma Hero nominees to nine. Today we meet our second Oklahoma Hero finalist, and as NEWS 9's Doug Warner reports, it took a hero to nominate this hero.

"My main area of expertise is in Pediatrics," Danny Cavett, OU Children's Medical Center chaplain said.

To truly understand the impact this Oklahoma Hero makes every day you could try and spend a day walking in his shoes.

"He's real nice and I like him, even though he's a lot older than me," said Colton Weathers who suffers from a heart defect.

Or better yet, just ask seventh grader Colton Weathers. Trust me, he's knows a hero when he sees one.

"Its heart wrenching as a parent, you want to take the pain for them but can't," said Colton's mother Kristi Weathers.

That because just moments after Colton was born he was diagnosed with a serious heart defect; he underwent heart surgery at only five days old, since then Colton has also undergone a valve replacement and artery bypass.

 "It's part of who I am and how it goes, so I deal with it," Colton says.

Over the years Colton has bravely dealt with it with help from a cast of thousands from teachers to Heart Walk volunteers and to the overly kind-hearted Danny Cavett.

"It just wouldn't be children's without Danny. He's the best part of the hospital," said Kristi Cronquist, who's the mother of an OU Children's Medical Center patient.

Danny is the chaplain at Children's Medical Center. Like a member of the family, he chats, hangs out and works closely with both the young patients and their parents.

"As a parent I know it helps me when I see a familiar face when we go in," Kristi Weathers said "I know it's got to help the children to come around and be that familiar face."

That face also looks familiar to over 7,000 children battling heart, kidney ailments, spinal bifida and other serious conditions who attend one of Danny's Camp Cavett each year.

"It's real fun, we get to go to the lake and go swimming, and do arts and crafts," Colton said.

For those who aren't able to get out much Camp Cavett is heaven on earth.

"Yes, I see a lot of miracles here, but then when we take it out there and see them apply it and that's when it's something bigger than us," Cavett said .

Danny Cavett hosts four big camps and over two dozen other events each year for the children.  He says the camps are designed to offer the perfect bonding experience for the children of all ages.

"As I tell the kids, I'm 10-years-old this year. Kids say, no you're not! Yeah I'm 10-years-old," Cavett said.

Danny claims to be 10 because it's been that long since his doctor told him his cancer was in remission.

"That's one of the ironies of life, isn't it?" laughed Cavett.

He's fought the fight and now gives others the extra fighting chance they need.  

"Thank you for all you've done.  You rock!" Colton said.

"We just love him, he's important in our life and a hero to us," Colton's mother Kristi Weathers said.