In September, 3-year-old Andrew caught a bad cold which turned to flu – and just kept getting worse and worse – until he ended up in the Emergency department of the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Thankfully, that’s where they were because Andrew actually had pneumonia and had to be put on IV antibiotics. He was sent home and told to come in tomorrow for his next dose. He was much worse the next day. His breathing was laboured, he was going downhill. Within a few hours, Andrew was admitted to Unit 4. But that was just the beginning. Over the next days and weeks, Andrew required the support and care of several areas of the hospital including Respirology, Infectious Disease, and General Surgery. He had daily chest x-rays and more than once required the insertion of chest tubes to drain the fluid that was pooling in his lungs. Following a surgery performed by Dr. Mary Brindle to clean out the fluid between his lungs and the surrounding sack, Andrew spent time in the PICU where he was sedated and intubated. Mum Michelle describes the time in the PICU as their low point as she thought they might lose their son, with his lungs so compromised. Thankfully, under the incredible multi-disciplinary care he received, Andrew’s SAT levels began to improve and he was able to go up to Unit 2 where he remained for another couple of weeks on a regimen of intense antibiotics. Even when he was well enough to go home, Andrew remained on antibiotics for several more weeks.
Mum is grateful for the quality of care they received while at the ACH. While it was a frightening time, Michelle says she’s confident that her son was in the very best hands and was thankful for the full complement of care that was available to him – from the doctors, nurses, diagnostics – all of the expertise that helped her 3-year-old with a bad cold, come back from nearly losing him. Mum says that she doesn’t even like to think what could have happened, had they lived in Calgary with access to this wonderful hospital.
During his stay, Andrew was in the special wing of Unit 2 which is reserved for children with severe respiratory issues and depended on a cardio-respiratory monitor at all times. He required two surgeries and many scans and x-rays – and each time he was transported to the OR or the Diagnostic Imaging Department, he was taken by a nurse – not a porter – and a portable cardio-respiratory monitor accompanied him at all times. Sometimes one was already in use and he’d have to wait.