Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Trust can be challenging for any parent when forced to share care giving duties with others... especially those that are outside of one's circle of family and friends. We trust Norah's care team to treat her like they would their own child. Though she is strong, she is also quite fragile. She depends on so many outside interventions, technologies, therapies, and treatments to not only live a full life, but to live at all.

Let me preface this story by stating that Norah is currently happy, healthy, and sassy as ever.

On Monday, the respiratory therapist assigned to Norah made multiple huge mistakes with Norah's ventilator. These mistakes persisted from 8am until I got there at 4pm. I won't go into detail, but I will say that these mistakes were completely hers. I do not blame SDCH; I do not blame nursing or the respiratory department itself. Despite the bi-hourly checks, nothing clicked in this RT's head to tell her that she had done something wrong. This therapist alone is at fault, and I honestly hope that she knows this. This is not a slight to her as a person. It is what it is.

So who do we turn to when our trust is broken? These mistakes could have potentially caused her permanent damage, or accidental death. (I hate even typing that...) What do we do when the person entrusted to care for Norah does something that could have been catastrophic? We turn to those we love. After notifying Jeff, I told two of my closest friends over text message, and without my asking for help, Cecily and Jaci were walking through the door of Norah's hospital room about ten minutes later. Boy were they a sight for sore eyes. Not only are they incredible nurses, but Cecily and Jaci are "Bulldog 1" and "Bulldog 2", respectively. They had to be sure that Norah was okay. They had to be sure that I was okay. They give us such unique support being that they are nurses, they are my friends, and they have become my sisters. I love those girls.

So what happens next? Well, an incident report was filed. It will be discussed by the doctors, directors, and corporate honchos. They will come up with detailed, actionable items that will help prevent this from ever happening again. Additionally, I had wonderful discussions with both the attending pediatrician and the Respiratory Director. They were both wonderful, especially the Respiratory Director. He was apologetic. He was angry. He has a sweet spot in his heart for Norah, and he seemed genuinely angry with Monday's events. SDCH understands that we put their trust in them. I really do have faith that they will be more vigilant than ever in paying attention to detail.

Trust is such a fragile thing. While I trust SDCH, I am so grateful that we've never missed a day with Norah. I hate to think what could happen if we weren't there daily - and that is true regardless of the hospital in which she lives. 
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