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Infant Crashes after Infection, Mom Credits PICU Team for Offering Life-Saving Care
Submitted by Amy Stalls, mother of patient Samuel
Benton, AR

My son, Samuel, was born on May 26, 2010. On Monday, June 21, 2010 I was still at home on maternity leave when Samuel took an unusually long nap. After waking up he was not eating, not interested in eating and had no eye interaction with me at all. I called my husband and told him we needed to take Sam to his pediatrician because something was not right - something was wrong.

The first question our pediatrician asked us was, "Is he always this color?" I said, "No, he is usually not that pale." His pediatrician asked, "Are his lips always that purple?" I said, "No, they are not."

After running a test in the clinic, it was determined that Sam's pulse ox level was low, low enough that we needed to take Samuel to the hospital. Later I learned it was low enough that my son was critical.

ACH called for an ambulance. Once the ambulance arrived, I cradled my son, climbed up onto the cot, and unknowingly braced myself for what would be the toughest week of his and my life to date.

When we arrived at the ACH ER, the EMTs wheeled us straight through the doors. My son was lifeless, cold and white. The doctors on call and nurses placed him on a bed and then more doctors swarmed the room. Samuel needed IV fluid, but his veins were too dehydrated for them to insert a needle through them. Instead, they used a method that is not as common in children; they drilled in through his shin bone and pumped in fluids through his bones.

Later that night he was moved up to the PICU. After numerous tests within the first couple days, it was determined that Sam had a urinary tract infection that had, in turn, sent his body into septic shock. His tiny body was not working properly. Sam had plasma, medicine, IVs and eventually a PIC placed in his arm. The PIC allowed the doctors and nurses to both draw blood and insert medicine without having to constantly prick his little body. After one week, we took Sam home with the PIC in his arm. We gave medicine through the IV three times a day for a month.

My baby was so sick, and I attribute him being saved through God's grace and the amazing doctors and nurses at ACH (Dr. Sanders, Dr. Jaeger, Dr. Jerril Green, all the nurses on the PICU floor and in the ER). Thank you.

I had worked at ACH for 3.5 years prior to my son getting sick, and while I still work at ACH, it was not until we walked out of ACH with a healthy little boy, that I knew of the impact ACH has on the lives of people. I had never really understood how important of a place this is. We are truly blessed to have it.