Comforted by familiar faces as RSV sends boys back to hospital

2012-02-02 15:47:48 by Elyse White, Patient Family, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

On Jan. 7, our lives were once again flipped upside down. Our son Ean was rushed to the ER at Akron Children's Beeghly campus because he was having a difficult time breathing.

With Ean and Evan being former 27 weekers they have had a lot of respiratory issues and they wheeze a lot. So when the boys started wheezing a few days prior we assumed that is was normal preemie behavior but still made a doctor appointment.

The kids were seen and they chalked it up to an upper respiratory infection. Little did I know Ean would be life-flighted 2 days later. Ean spent 2 days on the seventh floor of Akron Children's Hospital before he was rushed to the PICU and placed back on vapotherm, something we were all too familiar with.

While Evan was at home he started showing the same distressed signs as Ean and was also transported to Akron's main campus. Our children were diagnosed with RSV. We were in shock.

Since the boys were discharged from the NICU in late October we have done everything in our power to keep the boys healthy and thriving. Up until this point they were gaining weight and meeting milestones. You would have never thought that they were once 1 and 2 lbs.

The boys spent 11 days total in the hospital, 7 days each in the PICU. As Andrew and I passed each other in the PICU halls, all we could think was, "How is this happening?"

They were both hooked back up onto monitors, both on vapotherm, getting around-the-clock breathing treatments. It was all too real. We were reliving our worst nightmare.

Around the  8th day both boys starting hitting the "peak" as the doctors called it and started getting better. They started smiling and cooing even being hooked up to a bunch of wires.

During our stay we ran into other families that were in the NICU at the same time our boys were, and past nurses that took care of the boys. The Rienberger Center let us escape to take a shower and eat a meal. Even their primary nurse who took care of both boys in the NICU came and checked in on them every day she worked.

It is such a reassuring feeling seeing so many familiar faces. It made the experience less traumatic. There was one morning I tiredly awoke from a sleepless night and looked up at the nurse assessing Ean. She simply waved and said, "Hi, remember me? I took care of the boys down in the NICU."

How amazing is it that so many of these nurses, who take care of hundreds of  patients a week, remembered our family? It was very touching. I hope to think the boys made a lasting impressions on these wonderful caretakers. 

Once again, thank you Akron Children's for all you have done for our family.

Our next big hurdles are the boys' pulmonary and cardiology appointments as well as their NICU follow-up. We hope for the best and cannot wait to see you all again!

Love the Fertig/White Family

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