top of page

Trust your gut.

When your kid is sick, trust those mama instincts.

I've heard too many stories about kids being sent home from the doctor when they really needed medical care, here are just two of them.

Grace's story

I work at a hospital and get the pleasure of getting to hear patients' success stories. As a parent, this one especially resonated with me:

When Grace was just 11 years old, her health took a quick turn for the worst. After experiencing intense abdominal pain and vomiting, her parents took her to urgent care to get checked out. Grace was sent home, but her parents remained concerned. They made an appointment with her pediatrician for the next day, who identified worrying symptoms and sent Grace to her local emergency room (ER) right away.

When she arrived at the ER, the team of caregivers diagnosed Grace with sepsis — a condition in which the body responds improperly to infection. She was experiencing multisystem organ failure! “The doctors told my parents that if I’d come in any later, they probably couldn’t have saved me,” says Grace.

Grace is now a college graduate and forever grateful for her parents' persistence and the lifesaving care she received.

Riley's story

My 4-year-old niece, Riley, is a healthy, vibrant little girl. Like all kids who attend preschool, she picks up various germs from time to time. This time seemed worse. She had consistent fevers as high as 103 degrees F and a terrible cough. On a Friday, my sister took Riley to urgent care, where she was given a flu test and strep test, both of which were negative, so she was sent home.

Trusting her mama gut, my sister took Riley back to urgent care on Saturday. They were unfortunately turned away because they were closing earlier than they usually do. By Sunday, my poor niece was lethargic, and her condition had worsened. Once again, my sister rushed Riley back to urgent care. They were going to send her home AGAIN when my sister asked for a chest x-ray. They recommended against it telling her they didn't think it would show anything. Thank goodness my sister insisted, because it found pneumonia in both lungs!

Riley received antibiotics intravenously and was sent home with additional medication. I'm happy to report she is now back to her happy, healthy self, thanks to her parents' determination to get her the medical care she needed.

The common thread is that you have to be an advocate for your family's health care. Doctors aren't perfect and can, and do, send kids home when they shouldn't. Our pediatrician is great, but sometimes makes me feel like I'm an over-worrying mom. Because of that, I'm sometimes hesitant to take my baby boy to the doctor, even when his illness has lasted weeks. I've learned to trust my instincts and not be concerned about what anyone else thinks, which came in handy when my toddler had croup. You know that saying "mamas know best"? Well, we do. Listen to your gut when it comes to your little one's health.


bottom of page