September 1st, 2013

Non-Fatal Illness That Would Keep a Child Hospitalized for a Max of Three Years

This would be set in 2000-2003 in the U.S. (Massachusetts, specifically), with a five to eight year-old child as the patient. I tried looking for varying combinations of "illnesses" "hospitalization" "children" "years" and "time-frame", but nothing I came up with was very relevant or helpful for what I'm looking for.

Basically what I'm looking for is this:

1) It must be an illness of some sort, not the result of an accident.

2) Something that is not fatal, or at least not necessarily fatal.

3) Something that still allows her to get up and visit people in other rooms of the hospital at least occasionally.

4) Something that the child could significantly (or totally) recover from by the end of those three years. Specifically:
                      A) She has to be recovered enough that she's able to run away and travel across two states (alone) without significant issue as a result of her illness
                      B) She has to be able to run, walk, and move her arms without issue (this is consistent with the canon that she belongs to)
                      C) It cannot impact her memory

5) Going off of four, it doesn't have to be a complete long-term recovery. If she's on some sort of medication after, or has a few lasting issues as a result, I can work with that.

6) Three years is my preference for what I have planned, but I can also work with two years, a year and a half being the minimum.

7) The hospitalization does not necessarily need to be constant over that time-frame. If it's something where she's hospitalized for a time, then released, then brought back, that would work too.

Worth mentioning:

1) The child is not being cared for at a children's hospital, if that impacts the answer. She's in a hospital that also takes adults.

2) The child is an orphan. Haven't decided if she's in a children's home, foster home, or if maybe she's been in the hospital since her parents died.

Thank you for any help!