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A Year Later, Mom Recounts Newborn's Journey
Submitted by Kortney Jalaldin, mother of patient Ava
Monroe, LA

On July 11, 2011, my daughter Ava was born in respiratory distress and immediately placed on a ventilator.  After not being able to wean of the high frequency ventilator, we knew she was in a touch-and-go situation. Ava was transported to ACH by Angel One on July 30. We had been in two hospitals in Monroe, LA , before the doctors decided they needed second opinions and further assistance treating Ava.  The doctor suggested that we go to New Orleans, but I had always heard about Children's from my relatives that live in Little Rock.  I am just now able to relive our experience after a year's time.

The minute Angel One came to get Ava from our local NICU my child was so critical and in your hands.  The moment we arrived at Children's, we were met by Dr. Miguel-Verdes and it was as if she knew my daughter's case and had been working with her the entire time. The doctors in the NICU who worked with her and took a risk to get her better are always on my mind.  Dr. Yap had the courage to take her off of the oscillator and try the regular ventilator, and Dr. Arrington customized the vent to fit Ava.  As unconventional as her settings were, he figured it out and she started to improve.  Every day she was in this hospital was a day she was getting better.  I still speak with Ava's head nurse Tina Cauldwell.  She took my child under her wing and knew every aspect of Ava.  She treated her like her own. 

The Respiratory team was amazing, as well.  A day that I never thought would come did, and Ava was discharged on Sept. 9, 2011. This was probably the happiest day of my life.  In November 2011 Ava ended up in the hospital again in Monroe with severe feeding issues and once again her case was too complicated for our local hospital.  We were transferred to ACH.  Eventually we were told Ava needed surgery.  Our pulmonologist, Dr. Bauer, made a trip back up to the hospital at night to reassure us and address any concerns. Looking back, he could probably tell we were uneasy.  He certainly did not have to do that, but he did, and it meant do much.  And last but not least, Dr. Dassinger performed her surgery.  I knew the minute we met him my baby would be in the best hands. 

Ava is now 16 months and I cannot express enough gratitude to Arkansas Children's Hospital.  That was the best decision I ever made at a time I could not really think at all. I tell everyone about your hospital and the level of care that we received.  I feel like I owe that to anyone who may have a sick child and does not know where to turn.  If I left out any doctor or nurse, it was completely unintentional, we came across the BEST.  Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.