Eric's Success Story

Published on: 01/18/2012

"I was born on November 10, 1977. My parents were overjoyed to welcome me into the world after my mother, diagnosed with placenta previa, carefully carried me for just less than eight months. My world was great until I went into shock at three weeks old. I was rushed to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital (then called Variety Children’s Hospital) and my parents were told that the doctors were “not sure if what I had was compatible with life or not.” I began having seizures and it was discovered that I had a sodium imbalance.

Newspaper clipping of Eric and his family.

Dr. Carol Hirsh, the neonatologist, along with Dr. Ian Jefferies, took care of me. I began getting sodium intravenously and I seemed to be okay but Dr. Hirsh warned my parents that I could have a setback. A few days passed and in the middle of the night my parents got a call from Dr. Hirsch. She told my dad that my stomach was distended and there was no time for a second opinion—she needed an okay to operate immediately.

During the operation, the doctors discovered that I had an ulcer in my duodenum and that my electrolytes were leaking through this opening and causing the seizures from the imbalance. The ulcerated area was repaired and I was on my way to healing.

The test results had not all been returned and, of course, my parents worried that the tests might show something else. But I was doing just fine and Dr. Hirsh kept reminding my parents, “just look at the patient and see how well he is doing.” A few days passed and I had some more EEG testing (electroencephalogram).

The neurologist told my parents that the EEG showed that there was some brain damage. He also explained to my mom and dad that a child could cut his hand and have cells damaged but the hand could function just fine. This news upset my mom greatly, as she could not get the words “brain damage” out of her thoughts."

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