Joel and his twin sister were born healthy and happy at 37 weeks gestation. When they were 4 months old, they both got RSV and bronchiolitis, but while his sister got better quickly, Joel just got worse. In a few days, he went from fine to struggling to breathe. I took him to the ER, expecting a breathing treatment and then to be sent home, but instead the triage nurse, recognizing the severity of his condition, took us straight back to a treatment room, which was suddenly flooded with staff working all around sweet little Joel. They quickly got him breathing sufficiently and moved him up to the PICU. We ended up spending 10 days at NCH while Joel was on a ventilator to rest his lungs.
I work here as one of the clinical lab directors, so I know that this kind of presentation of RSV is fairly common, but seeing your little baby, who was just days before laughing and cooing, reduced to such helplessness, so so difficult. But the fantastic nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and other staff reassured us and made Joel as comfortable as possible. As I realized how relatively routine Joel’s hospital stay was (there were lots of babies on ventilators in the PICU–probably all with a respiratory virus like Joel), I found myself telling people, “Oh, it’s just RSV.” My point was that I was really thankful that Joel’s illness was treatable and would resolve, likely without chronic issues. But the fact is, “just RSV” would have killed sweet Joel without the fantastic care he received here at NCH.
I’m so thankful for this wonderful hospital and the work to heal him back to his cheery, delightful self! I’m thankful for the hard work and reassurance of all the staff. I’m thankful for the comfortable bed/couch to sleep on so I didn’t have to leave him. I’m thankful for the friendly staff who kept the room clean. I’m thankful for the sweet attending physician who made sure all our questions were answered. I’m thankful for the nurses who made sure I had all the supplies I needed to pump breastmilk for the twins. I’m thankful that I get to work here and be part of the system to provide excellent medical care to kids like Joel. I’m thankful for NCH.