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‘I cried on my drive home from relief but also gratitude’

A mother recalls the lifesaving treatment we provided her son.
Close to midnight 2-year-old Jacob awoke in his crib with very serious breathing issues. Mom, Ashley, was scared and immediately drove him to our hospital which is located 10 minutes away from their home.

“When we arrived in the Emergency Department it was very busy. I had barely sat down to wait our turn when Nashreena, Registered Nurse, brought us immediately into one of the rooms,” recalled Ashley.

Nashreena, Registered Nurse, had heard Jacob’s breathing and knew immediately that it was serious.

“Nashreena, saved his life. People get annoyed with having to wait but don’t realize that they might be waiting because a baby can’t breathe, and all resources are going to that patient. It took courage for Nashreena to bring us back; patients in the waiting room may have been mean to her afterwards but she acted on what she thought needed to be done. I will never be able to thank her enough,” shared Ashley.

Once in the room Jacob was quickly assessed by Jason, Registered Nurse, and Dr. Alshahabi Qussay, Emergency Department Physician. The care team discussed an immediate treatment plan and within minutes were putting it into action. Jacob was suffering from a severe case of Croup, an infection in the upper airway that blocks breathing, and there was no time to spare.

Satjeet, Respiratory Therapist, began to administer a breathing treatment as well as an oral steroid to open his airway. The treatment began to work, and Jacob was quickly breathing normally and feeling much better.

“The entire team was incredible; Satjeet was so calm and caring and talked me through everything, Dr. Qussay checked in on us routinely and made sure that I felt comfortable taking my son home that evening, and Jason really helped my boy feel happy by bringing him apple juice and hanging out with him while I used the bathroom (things well outside his job description),” shared Ashely.

They were discharged within hours and Ashley through tears drove home, “I cried … from relief but also gratitude. It's hard being a parent and even harder when your child is sick.”

This was not Ashley’s first visit to our hospital but certainly the one that impacted her most. Ashley’s father was treated and eventually passed away in our care, her son was born in our Obstetrics Department, and the family have visited our Emergency Department multiple times.

“This experience was the best it could be under the circumstances. My son got the care he needed in such a quick amount of time, and I am positive that the team's actions ensured nothing more serious happened. For me this experience has made me even more grateful for the team at Headwaters Health Care Centre,” shared Ashley. 

Jacob will be receiving follow-up treatment with his family doctor and a long-term plan will be set up for him to manage his breathing and keep him playing with his friends and out of the hospital.
Photo caption: Jacob, playing in his backyard which is one of his favorite pastimes.