An emergency room visit with a friend

Always bring a book and a bear to the E.R.

There was a time when Quinnlin’s family didn’t know about anti-rejection drugs and IV antibiotics and near monthly E.R. visits for her or her brother, Gage. Quinnlin and Gage survived kidney failure, dialysis and kidney transplants, both at the age of eight and now are in the phase where things like twice daily drugs and IVs and regular E.R. visits are (their) normal.

Last month when Quinnlin had a simple bump on her arm turn into an infection that was growing, her mom knew they’d end up in the E.R. and probably admitted before she even called their doctor to discuss the color, shape and size of the area.

Always helpful…a friend and electronics.

“It looks red and it’s growing. It looks exactly like Gage’s did when it was MRSA.” Quinnlin’s mom said to the care team. MRSA is a resistant staph infection that sends fear into just about any medical professional, but many doctors, including organ transplant teams, are particularly worried about MRSA in their patients.

A Sunday afternoon brought a trip to the E.R. at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the presumed admission to the hospital for IV antibiotics. Normally a hospital bag is packed for an E.R. trip, but it was early in the day Sunday, which means Quinnlin’s mom knew she’d have time to get things from home. So they only brought Champerina, a book and chargers for the iPad and phone.

It hurt but not for long

It wasn’t long before the doctors were looking for a room for her upstairs on a floor and ordering an IV to be started to get the medicine in her as soon as possible. Luckily this was a slow Sunday that afforded the chance to get a visit from terrifically nice Amy Hood, Child Life Specialist, who helps kids cope with the procedures they will be having in the hospital. Working in the E.R. this afternoon was also a very skilled and smiling paramedic, Kevin Locke.

It wasn’t long before Quinnlin (bravely, with Champerina tucked in the bend of her arm) was making demands about how this IV would happen.

“This arm.”

“Right here.” 

“Champerina sits here.”

“Give me a second and you have to tell me what you’re doing.”

“Mom, don’t talk! It hurts more when you talk!”

Amy Hood, CLP and Kevin Locke, Paramedic of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, ER department

Then it was done and Quinnlin started her journey up to her room where she would only spend one night – this time. Quinnlin and her family know that the next time, or the time after that, she could easily have to stay longer for any number of reasons. It isn’t like Quinnlin sits around waiting to go to the hospital. She just knows it will happen again because it’s a regular part of her life.

Quinnlin knows that and each and every time she goes to the hospital, she’ll have support from her family and her friends. She also knows Champerina will be there and find the right arm to sit under during any given procedure, during any given time.

About Julia Roberts

Advocate * Writer * Speaker * Community Builder View all posts by Julia Roberts

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