Maddie Binder made it to her 11th year before she had to go to the emergency room. But by the time she blew out the candles on her 12th birthday cake, she visited Akron Children’s Hospital emergency department three times – all for very different reasons.
While her mom, Sarah, is hoping her daughter’s ER streak is behind her, she was, with each visit, even more convinced that Akron Children’s was the best place to take her daughter from their home in Sagamore Hills.
“The ER nurses, the whole team, they were wonderful,” Sarah said.
Maddie’s first visit in September 2017 came after she had a horseback riding accident. The pony she was riding tripped and the two of them fell. Maddie’s foot was stuck in the stirrup, and the frightened pony began to drag her around the ring.
“She was pretty beat up,” Sarah said. She took her first to the Akron Children’s Hospital Urgent Care in Hudson, but they recommended they head to the Akron emergency room because Maddie may have had internal injuries.
“She was so scared — she had never been in the ER,” he mother said. “They were so good with her.”
And since Maddie is her only child, Sarah was also a newbie ER parent. She was also reassured by staff and kept in the loop as they treated Maddie, who luckily didn’t have any internal injuries. She was back to riding again 3 weeks later, Sarah said.
A few months later, around Christmas, Maddie was sick and diagnosed with strep throat. Two different antibiotics just didn’t do the trick. She and her mother were preparing to go on a trip to Arizona in early January, and Maddie was still complaining the day they were to leave that she had a lump in her throat. Sarah took her to a local pharmacy clinic, and the nurse practitioner there was concerned enough about the problem that she urged them to go to the ER.
Once at Akron Children’s, doctors determined that the lump wasn’t serious, but they did give Maddie an antibiotic injection to help with the lingering strep. Mom and daughter had to cancel their trip but within a day Maddie was feeling better than she had in weeks, Sarah said.
Maddie’s 3rd trip to the ER was in August on a busy Sunday evening just before she was to head to camp with her new classmates at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. They had stopped at a family member’s house and Maddie was playing with the family’s rescue dog.
“I turned around to say goodbye and all of a sudden I heard the dog bark and growl,” Sarah said.
Maddie had hugged the dog from behind, and the startled dog bit her lip. “I thought half of it was gone. It was split completely apart. It was terrible,” Sarah said.
Her brother-in-law accompanied her and Maddie as they first went to a nearby emergency room. When staff didn’t seem responsive to her bleeding daughter, Sarah decided to leave for another close-by emergency room, where Maddie was attended to quickly. But Sarah was concerned because there was no plastic surgeon available.
With the positive memories of their earlier two visits to Akron Children’s ER still fresh, Sarah decided they should make the 30-minute drive to Akron for the ER there. She’s glad they did.
“They have an awesome suture team,” Sarah said of suture technicians Doug Lehman and Jessica Mollohan. “They were phenomenal. They were funny, they kept Maddie distracted, and they kept me distracted. They calmed us down and were so reassuring.”
Maddie got a total of five stitches and is healing so well that she will not need any plastic surgery, Sarah said.
In addition to the great care, Sarah said she’s impressed by Akron Children’s valet parking service at the ER.
“The fact you have valet parking at the ER is so helpful,” she said. “It’s a little thing but it makes a huge difference.”
In her work as sales and design manager with a Solon stone and quartz countertop business, Sarah said she has referred others to Akron Children’s for care for their children.
“I have two clients that moved to town recently and I told them both to take their children to Akron Children’s — do not take them anywhere else.”