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On July 14, 2015, new mom Danielle noticed her 3 1/2 –week-old baby Stanley was a bit warm, but figured it might be the hot weather outside. She laid him down to undress him and when she sat him up, he began spitting up blood. She put Stanley in his car seat to take him to the hospital in Claresholm, where they live, and by then, the colour had drained from his face.
At the hospital, Stanley continued spitting up blood. Knowing the severity of the situation, staff called the Alberta Children’s Hospital Pediatric Transport Team to come. Matt had arrived and he and Danielle watched in shock as blood was suctioned out of their son through a large tube down his throat. The Transport Team worked for several hours to stabilize little Stanley so he could be brought to the Alberta Children’s Hospital for care and were in touch with pediatric intensivist Dr. Eli Gilad back in Calgary for advice. The team intubated the baby, which is a very complex and stressful procedure to begin with, but Danielle and Matt later learned how Stanley’s case was especially difficult because of all the blood. Though he was still in a critical state, Stanley was finally stable enough to be rushed by ambulance to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Despite the urgency of the situation, the team was calm and reassuring to Stanley’s parents, explaining everything they could. Danielle and Matt arrived at the hospital to find a room filled with medical staff around their baby. They were told to prepare for the possibility Stanley may need to be put on life support and that there was a chance they might lose him. Specialists at the hospital were able to determine he had suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage and blood from his lungs was going into his stomach. He was given a blood infusion and put on coagulants.
After being in ICU for a week and then a couple of days on the unit, Stanley was back in the hands of the Transport Team, who travelled with him on a fixed-wing airplane to Edmonton for heart surgery. Danielle once again knew he would be well taken care of on his journey, as it was this very team that had helped save his life several days earlier. Following the surgery, Stanley came back to the Alberta Children’s Hospital so he could be monitored and gain some weight. Now he is at home but comes back for regular follow-ups. The hematology department is working hard to find the cause of his hemorrhage through testing. Danielle knows without the life-saving care of the Transport Team and the specialists at the hospital, they might have lost Stanley at only 3 ½ weeks old.