“We didn’t anticipate the heart failure,” shares Josh as he remembers the night his two-week old daughter’s life was in jeopardy.
At just two weeks old, Baby Joanna began to show signs of distressed breathing. As her lips turned from rosy-pink to blue, parents, Josh and Tina, rushed her to the Emergency Department (ED) at Island Hospital.
“It was kind of intense and kind of a blur,” Tina recalls of those first moments in the ED. “It was a total shock we were there.”
Upon seeing Baby Joanna’s condition, Island Health medical staff quickly gathered to determine the appropriate course of action. X-rays showed fluid-filled lungs and because of Baby Joanna’s heart murmur, the medical staff decided Baby Joanna needed to be air-lifted to Children’s Hospital in Seattle for specialized care.
“I can’t imagine being in the doctors’ position to give us a sense of the seriousness of the situation, but no one in the situation appeared overwhelmed by it,” recounts Josh. “They were phenomenal and super calm the whole time.”
Days later, at Children’s Hospital, it was determined that Baby Joanna had contracted the Enterovirus which attacked her heart and lungs causing other organs to go into failure. “Children’s was impressed by the level of care Joanna received at Island Hospital,” shares Tina. “They did not have to re-intubate Joanna which they said they often have to do when babies come from small hospitals that don’t perform intubations on babies often.”
Not every community has an Emergency Department. “Thank goodness we are here,” says the then ED Director, Kelly Pearson. “We have services people need. We are a Level III Trauma Center and have Level 2 stroke certification. We collaborate with specialties from other departments such as Labor and Delivery or Respiratory Therapy. We are a team of people who daily help this community.”
“I’m just so impressed by the people who went above and beyond their call of duty to jump in and help out.”