Palmer was in and out of Blank Childrens Hospital, and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 7 times between January 2016 and December 2016. Each stay, he was struggling to breathe and either needed wall oxygen, or a RAM machine that assisted with his breathing. In July of 2016, during our last visit to the PICU, we met an intensivist named Dr. Salib, and he changed everything.
Before meeting Dr. Salib, each time Palmer was admitted, he tested positive for RSV and they were convinced he was asthmatic. His breathing would get very labored, temperatures high (highest being 105’) and the only thing that could help were steroids and assisted breathing through different machines. We were fed up with being in the hospital, especially since I was 3-8 months pregnant during all of this. The food wasn’t great, the sleeping arrangements not ideal, and we all just wanted to go home. Then we met Dr. Salib...he was aggressive in treatments, included Jeremy in the pow-wows with the interns and other doctors, and was truly an advocate for Palmer.
In August, Palmer was diagnosed with Tracheomalacia, which means his airway was not fully developed. This meant, when he got sick, whether it be RSV or a runny nose, his airways couldn’t handle it and would shut down. Dr. Salib gave us steroids to take at home in case of emergency, along with breathing treatments. Since then, he’s only been hospitalized one time, he’s one Pulmonologist appointment away from clearing the asthma diagnosis and being released, and rarely takes any steroids.
Now, it’s our turn to give back to the Hospital, Doctors, Nurses and Staff that gave us so much. Child Life was an important factor in all of this. They offered to come sit with Palmer to give us a break, when 3 nurses couldn’t find a vein for an IV and they had to call Life Flight, Child Life was there holding an iPad to distract him or blowing bubbles. They brought toys to his room, DVDs, Coloring Books ... anything and everything to try to make this a more pleasant (if possible) experience. We are asking for your help as Palmer is becoming a Shining Star Student Philanthropist for the Hospital.
During each season, we are going to find a way to donate time, money, or objects to Child Life. It would mean the world for all of you to become part of this army of ours and help those children receiving care find comfort during their time at BCH.