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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Junior

Junior has always been a very healthy and active little boy who loves playing soccer outside. About two weeks ago this all changed when Melloney realised that her son was unusually sleepy and he didn’t have much of an appetite, which was very strange for her little one.

After two days Junior was rushed to the hospital in an attempt to find out what was wrong. Junior was diagnosed with extreme tonsillitis and had to be on a drip as he was extremely weak. Unfortunately the tonsillitis caused severe swelling in Junior’s throat that made it very hard for him to breathe.

Little Junior was then referred to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where he stayed in the paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for about a week. During his stay in the ICU, poor Junior was in a lot of distress as a result of the continuous swelling in his throat and his inconsistent breathing. “The doctors told me that if it had been a few days later he might not have made it, it is heart-breaking to me that it could have been worse,” says Melloney.

The doctors in the ICU immediately placed Junior on a ventilator to assist with his breathing, as he could not always breathe by himself. According to Melloney this was the hardest part of their journey at the Hospital. “I have never seen my child like this before and I wasn’t coping. He was crying a lot when he was there because of the pain and I had to sit by his side the whole day.”

On Friday, 1 April, the doctors performed a tonsillectomy procedure that took about two hours to complete. Melloney was very anxious but believed that her child was in the best hands with the doctors and nurses at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. After the successful tonsillectomy, Junior was moved back to the ICU briefly where he quickly started to recover. “There were really so many nurses in the ICU that took care of him, we were never alone and it made me feel much better,” says Melloney.

It was not long until little Junior was discharged from the ICU and moved into the wards where he is currently recovering very well. Melloney says that both she and Junior are doing much better. “He has started eating again and is sleeping very well.” The doctors are keeping Junior in the Hospital for a little while longer to monitor his progress, but Melloney believes that he will be released very soon.

There are many little children like Junior who require special care in the paediatric intensive care unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Help give childhood back by sending an *SMS to 40465 to donate R20 to building a bigger and better ICU or donate online.

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