Some of my favorite patients are the ones that don’t need to see me again after they leave the hospital, because it’s such a joy to see the ones that recover.
One of those I remember to celebrate the good outcomes we’ll call Flinn. Flinn was a 2 year old boy who got very sick from a diarrheal illness. So sick that when his parents brought him to the emergency room, he was completely unresponsive. His blood pressure was very low, his heart was pounding very fast trying to compensate, and he didn’t even open his eyes or whimper when we put needles in to give him fluids. The team in the ER appropriately gave him fluids to start, but he didn’t improve. We gave him more. He still didn’t look any better.
We stood together over his little body in the ER, and while I heard his mother crying in the background we pushed more and more fluids, praying it would work.
Eventually, he started to stabilize. His blood pressure started coming up, his heart rate came down, his fever reduced. The first few days in the hospital, we watched to see if he would completely recover after having so much time with a low blood pressure. Kids are resilient and God is good. . . He eventually went home as a walking, talking two year old and the residents told me he followed up in clinic a couple weeks later looking like any other healthy toddler!
We see a lot of death, and a lot of tragedy. So I always love to remember the ones that made it home, with happy endings.