August 27, 2023
A Parent Shares Their Life-Saving Journey with Elliot Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department
It's an odd story how our journey to The Elliot Hospital's Pediatric Emergency Department unfolded. Little did we know that what began as a routine visit for lactation consultation would turn into a life-changing experience for our 10-day-old daughter, Amelia.
We headed to The Elliot Hospital that morning, for what was expected to be a regular visit with our lactation consultant, Nancy Ramirez. Amelia, our precious 6-pound bundle, wasn't feeding well and had dropped some weight since birth.
As my husband (an EMT) and I embarked on the journey to the hospital, we noticed something alarming - Amelia was having trouble breathing, a wheezy struggle that had emerged suddenly. With my husband behind the wheel and me closely monitoring her from the back seat, we drove from Hampstead to the Elliot in Manchester, our anxiety growing with each strained breath.
Upon arriving at the hospital, we proceeded to the lactation consultant. However, our concerns escalated when we noticed that Amelia’s breathing worsened while we were there. Undressing her for weighing, we were shocked to see her ribs becoming more prominent with each labored inhalation. It was a terrifying sight that sent us into immediate action.
The nursing staff quickly whisked us away to The Elliot's Pediatric Emergency Department, where the urgency of the situation was palpable. The attending doctor recognized the gravity of Amelia’s condition, having encountered a similar case the week before. Without hesitation, they sought consultation from Children's Hospital, knowing that quick collaboration was crucial.
The situation escalated as Amelia’s breathing worsened, and the doctors decided to intubate her and administer medication to regulate her heart and breathing. The diagnosis was "aortic coarctation" - a condition where her aorta was narrowing, impeding blood flow to her extremities and organs. The potential for permanent damage if left untreated was a looming threat.
It was a nerve-wracking decision, but it was agreed that Amelia needed to be transferred to Children's Hospital for specialized care. As we waited for the transfer, Tracey, our nurse brought us boxed lunch, and the hospital's social worker offered counseling, understanding the emotional turmoil we were experiencing.
Upon arriving at Children's Hospital, the medical team commended the timely intervention that had taken place at The Elliot Hospital. Amelia’s condition had been caught early, and she had received the necessary treatment to stabilize her. This meant that the medical team at Children's could move swiftly, building on the foundation of care she had already received.
Two days after arriving at Children's Hospital, Amelia underwent a successful surgery to repair her aortic coarctation. The relief we felt was indescribable - our little girl had come through with flying colors, and there were no restrictions on her bright future.
Today, Amelia is a vibrant 5-year-old, full of life and joy. As I watch her attend Princess Dance Camp, I'm reminded of the incredible journey we've been on, from that fateful day in The Elliot Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department to the present moment. Our family will forever be grateful for the expert care, swift action, and unwavering support that saved our daughter's life.