Just like Mr. T from the A-team (I’m completely dating myself here), I love it when a plan comes together. And I thought, since it’s been a very heavy hearted few days, I should tell a story that happened just 48 hours ago about a good event in my little world of medicine that happened through the connection of social media. A small thing, but a good thing nonetheless.
I received a message on Facebook yesterday that simply said, “7 year old with sickle cell, headache and vomiting for several days and Tylenol isn’t helping.” That was it.
Being part of my Peds Emerg Doc ethos I immediately ran a differential diagnosis in my head of all the potential critical illnesses that could befall this child: Stroke, pneumonia, meningitis, dehydration, overwhelming infection that we call sepsis.
Kids with sickle cell disease are especially at risk. The list was long and not at all filled with simple, “it’ll just get better on its own” type of stuff. It had been only 7 minutes since the message, but I thought I oughta get on it.
Turns out the writer had been a connection of mine a few years back. Juanda and I had worked together in the Emerg and she knew of this child who was being cared for by a family friend. This child with a chronic illness who had been lost to all follow up, both general pediatric and subspecialty care. This child who had no insurance and a caretaker who wasn’t quite sure what to do next. And on a Sunday when almost everything’s closed.
Suffice it to say that over the course of several hours and at least 25 different messages and phone calls we came up with a plan to get this child to a nearby children’s Emerg (these are the kind of symptoms that could easily be placed in the category of “OMG medicine”) so that she could be evaluated in the proper setting by the proper clinicians. She got there, and by last report is doing ok.
Juanda is really the hero here, as she knew she just couldn’t turn away from this situation and opportunity to help a child in need, someone she didn’t even know. She collected her thoughts and resources and ACTED.
I know there are many stories like this out there, and I ask: how many of them are about YOU?
One simple message can get another human being headed in the right direction. One little step. One person. Put all of us together and I think it could add up to a whole lot of goodness pretty fast. I propose we get started right away.