Sybil Cumberland of Preston named 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Sybil Cumberland, Mississippi’s 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion, poses with her dance team at Carol Merrill Academy of Dance in Meridian on Wednesday. The 7-year-old from Preston will be represent the state and Batson Children’s Hospital throughout the year.

Sybil Cumberland was all smiles Wednesday afternoon, dancing, tumbling and jumping around with her friends.  

She appeared more lively than just a few years ago, when she was cardiac patient at Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson. 

Sybil, the daughter of Tara and Jason Cumberland of Preston, was born with two holes in her heart and endured two surgeries when she was just an infant.

The 7-year-old’s resilience is one reason she was named the 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion, tasked with representing the state and the Batson Children’s Hospital for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Wednesday's ceremony was held at Carol Merrill Dance Academy in Meridian, where Sybil enjoys dancing. 

Every year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals identifies a child with a remarkable medical story from each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to a news release.

Those children represent millions of children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year.

Batson Children’s Hospital is the state’s only hospital devoted exclusively to the care and treatment of sick and injured children, according the release. 

The Children’s of Mississippi network brings specialized care for children to communities across the state, making it easier for families to get the treatment they need closer to home, the release said. 

Tara Cumberland credited Batson Children’s Hospital for saving her daughter’s life.

"They not only treated our child, but they treated our family," she said. "Because of what Batson has done, Sybil is healthy. She's happy, she dances and tumbles, and is just a normal 7-year-old.”

"I hope she is an inspiration to other children and families,” she emphasized. “Especially to those who are in the heart community.”

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