When Meredith’s son Hayes was nearly two months old, she took him to the closest hospital emergency room where they diagnosed him with respiratory syncytial virus. “His chest was retracting, and his sides were pulling in,” she recalled. “He was working very hard for every breath.”
“They gave us the option to transfer to Children’s National,” Meredith says, “and I knew that’s where we needed to be.” In the pediatric intensive care unit, Meredith recalls how frightening it was when Hayes stopped breathing momentarily. Yet, “I knew that all the professionals who were there were the best of the best and he was going to be okay.”
Some of Meredith’s confidence came from observing the extraordinary care other families receive every day in her role at Children’s National Hospital Foundation. “The staff is exceptional,” she says. “The PICU staff, nurses, doctors, really everyone made us feel so comfortable. They made us feel like Hayes was just as important to them as he is to us. During some very scary times, they reassured us and made us feel like family.”
One night when Hayes was fussy and his parents were exhausted, a nurse encouraged them to take a walk while she rocked him to sleep. Meredith notes that the nurse was on her break time. “She didn’t need to do that, but it really made us feel taken care of.”
What Meredith remembers most is how everyone went above and beyond to care for Hayes, who made a full recovery. “He’s smiling,” she reports. “He’s great.”
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