When a terrified mother called the hospital's emergency department telling them that her son was struggling to breathe, the hospital staff told her to stay home. They refused to entertain her while her son's condition worsened.
Emergencies can happen with anyone, anytime. The thing that matters is what the person's fight-or-flight response is to such stressful situations. Some people are naturally good with their reactions, while others struggle to do the right thing at the right time.
Sometimes, things don't go as expected, even when someone handles an emergency the right way. The woman in today's story experienced something similar when her son's health condition suddenly deteriorated.
IT WAS AN EMERGENCY
On March 19, 2020, a mother and healthcare worker, Sara Hernandez, took to Facebook after a hospital's emergency department refused to admit her son.
It all started when Hernandez saw her son, Cayden, struggling to breathe. As a healthcare worker, she knew this was a medical emergency and immediately called the emergency department of a local hospital. Hernandez told the hospital staff that her son had been possibly exposed to coronavirus. She wrote:
"I just wanted to give them a heads up that we were on our way. The charge nurse instructed me NOT to come to the ED."
THE NURSE'S SUGGESTION
Instead of allowing Hernandez to visit the hospital, the nurse told her to call CDC (Center for Disease Control), so they could send an ambulance to her house to check Cayden.
Hernandez was fuming when she heard the nurse's words. She wanted her son to get treated as soon as possible, but his covid exposure made things difficult. She wrote:
"I treat sick babies in the ER all the time. I don't bring mine in unless he absolutely needs treatment! Especially now!"
SHE DIDN'T PANIC
After hanging up, Hernandez unwillingly followed the nurse's instructions and called CDC, not knowing they would make her wait for an eternity before coming to treat her son. She recalled:
"I called them yesterday and waited on hold for TWO HOURS to finally get to talk to someone who was NOT a medical professional. They were just able to instruct me on current guidelines."
Hernandez then took her son to the hospital she worked at and said they checked her son without asking for a covid test. She revealed that the hospital treated patients regardless of their covid test results because every time the hospital wanted to conduct the test, they had to call a helpline that said they "didn't meet the criteria."
The doctor at her workplace told Hernandez that they needed to keep Cayden under observation. However, they could not admit him at that time because they "did not have a negative pressure room on the pediatric floor."
When Cayden's doctor called the same hospital to ask them if they could admit him, they refused again. Hernandez thought that was not right because the doctor had assessed Cayden already, so the hospital should have trusted his recommendation. She wrote:
"My husband is now driving my sick baby an hour away to another hospital to be evaluated all over again IN THE ER, and even then, they made it clear it wasn’t certain that he would be admitted."
DETERIORATING HEALTH CONDITION
Hernandez revealed that Cayden's condition worsened, but no hospital admitted him because they suspected he had covid. They only assessed his situation but didn't keep him under observation. She warned others:
"THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING AND IT COULD JUST AS EASILY BE [YOUR] CHILD."
While Cayden's condition was still critical, Hernandez penned down another post where she shared a picture of herself waiting outside while her son was in the emergency department.
The worried mother begged others to take covid seriously. She asked them not to joke about it because it had prevented her son from getting the treatment he needed. She wrote:
"While you are all annoyed at these current inconveniences and joking about the struggle of being stuck at home with your children for who knows how long, I cannot be with my baby while he is very sick."
Hernandez highlighted that she risked her life by going to the hospital every day to care for other people's friends, family, and parents, but she couldn't get her son treated while he struggled to breathe.
"These are not normal times. We don't have enough testing. We don't have enough supplies. We don't have enough time."
Do you think she did the right thing by appealing to people through her Facebook post? What would you do if you were in her place?
Click here to read another story about a 16-year-old girl who abandoned her newborn son outside a nursing home. Thirty years later, her son took a DNA test.
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