Three-year-old Jake woke up around 2:30 a.m. unable to speak with the sound parents have come to dread, the barking cough. He was unable to catch his breath he was coughing so bad and eventually began to vomit.  His father turned on the steam shower for 10 minutes, while his mother tried to get him calmed down; but his breathing became more labored.  They immediately grabbed their keys and headed to the Emergency Department to hear the diagnoses they were prepared for, Jake had a severe case of Croup.

Although the Emergency Department at NorthEast was closer to their home, they decided to take Jake to the Kannapolis stand-alone ED. They were immediately signed in and taken to the back to get Jake evaluated.

“This all happened during flu season, so we knew the ED at NorthEast was going to be busy with life-threatening illnesses,” said Jake’s mom. “From the moment we arrived at Kannapolis, the staff there was amazing from start to finish.  We were in a room within 5 minutes and he was immediately seen.”

What gave comfort to Jake’s parents, was knowing the Kannapolis ED is a fully functioning emergency room, with the same admit and transfer capabilities as the one at NorthEast. If Jake’s symptoms didn’t improve, they could easily transfer him to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital at NorthEast.

The room he was seen in was already stocked with all the items needed to treat a child, so the care was immediate upon the doctor’s evaluation and diagnosis.   Jake was given a breathing treatment, complete with a fish mask just for kids, and a steroid.  Within the hour, his cough settled and his breathing was controlled.  Jake was monitored for four hours by the staff to ensure there wasn’t a recurrence.  They brought him a race car to play with and turned the tv on to keep him occupied.

As the doctor sat down with the family to discuss next steps upon his discharge, he assured Jake’s parents they did the correct thing. Whenever stridor is present (obstructed air flow), it is always best to get it checked out.

“When your child is sick you do your best to make the right decisions,” said his mother. “It is stressful when you can’t fix your child’s ailment and have to rely on others.  Everyone that night in Kannapolis was attentive and quickly figured out how to calm Jake.   When they first tried to give him the breathing treatment with the mask, it was like wrestling a baby bear.  But within three minutes, they had him smiling through the mask and sitting there patiently for 10 minutes.  We are truly grateful parents for the doctors and nurses that were there that night.”