As a mom, I’m grateful for a lot of things, like having a healthy family. Time spent in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s National Hospital made me realize how fortunate we are to have country's best neonatal care in our region.
When he was 6 weeks old, my son Coby spiked a fever. I’m a pediatrician and took him to a small community hospital near home. They had a hard time getting an IV in him. He was getting more dehydrated by the minute. Now it was life or death. When the paramedics from Children’s National arrived, they worked fast. I was terrified, but they knew what they were doing.
They also made sure I was ok after my husband left to care for our 2-year-old. I rode in the front seat of the ambulance. They reassured me about Coby’s condition from the back. At the emergency department, 10 people converged to offer support. Coby was rushed into the NICU. A doctor offered to set me up to pump so Coby could have breast milk. Nurses swaddled Coby and advocated for him, asking for pain medicine when necessary.
Compassion at Children’s National came in other forms, too. Our family is Jewish and we observe the Sabbath. The hospital’s fully stocked kosher pantry gave us a dedicated place to eat. We often went there to regroup.
The care we received has inspired me as a pediatrician about how I want to care for my own patient families. As for Coby, he had viral meningitis and recovered fully. Children’s National gave him the care he — and our family — needed. Coby is now a healthy and happy toddler who loves to laugh and smile. We could not be more grateful.
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