Grateful Patient: The Boughner Family – Emergency, Paediatrics

Dr. UthayalingamAs every parent knows, when it comes to the health of your child, it means a lot when medical professionals go above and beyond to provide exemplary care.

For Jennifer Boughner-Barber, she is grateful for the care her daughter received at The Brantford General Hospital in April 2014.

Jennifer had been driving home from school with her two children, a four-year-old son, and 16-month-old daughter, when her son said to her from the back seat, “She’s eating it.”

Jennifer didn’t know what he was referring to, so she pulled over and stopped to see what was going on. Her daughter had previously had two small, hot pink coloured hair elastics and now, there was just one remaining in her hair. She looked all around, but couldn’t find the elastic. However, her daughter seemed to be okay, so Jennifer continued home and resumed her routine of preparing dinner for her family.

The little girl began to gag and was having difficulty eating. This concerned Jennifer and she contacted their family physician, who directed her to take her daughter to the Emergency Room (ER) at The Brantford General.

At first, Dr. Tony Higgins and the staff in the ER believed the little girl may have the small elastic lodged in her airway as she continued to cough intermittently. She was sent immediately to x-ray to look for indirect signs of a foreign body in the airway. Unfortunately, x-ray imaging didn’t show the hair elastic.

BCHS Paediatrician, Dr. Sarangan Uthayalingam, was also called in and became involved in the case.

“As a parent, I didn’t even know a BCHS Paediatrican was available to see children in the ER,” said Jennifer.

“He was really good because he calmed me down and made me feel that I made the right decision to take this issue seriously,” said Jennifer. “I was so glad he was able to assure me she would not die from it.”

Arrangements were made to transfer her daughter to a specialist in paediatric surgical services. The concern was that the elastic could be wrapped around something inside the little girl, or even inhaled into her lung.

“Dr. Uthayalingam called me the next morning to follow-up, and when he didn’t reach me he called me again later that night,” said Jennifer, adding she was so impressed that the doctor called four times in total, until he reached her.

After further investigation, the elastic was never found. However, the family felt reassured that their daughter was safe and healthy.

“Dr. Uthayalingam made me feel comfortable and confident that he understood my concern for our daughter’s well-being,” said Jennifer. “He took the time to discuss the issue with me without me feeling rushed and he made sure that I understood everything he was explaining.”

Jennifer shared her family’s positive experience at the BCHS, recognizing the medical team that had provided care to her daughter. The BCHS Foundation’s Grateful Family program offers patients and their families an opportunity to express thanks for the exemplary and compassionate care received.

“Emotionally, even now when I think of it, it was the worst moment of my life,” said Jennifer. “I am so grateful the BCHS medical staff took my concern seriously right from the beginning and provided our baby girl the best possible care.

The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’—it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for patients.

As Jennifer has learned first-hand, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need.

Your involvement, through a donation of any size, will allow the BCHS Foundation to purchase patient equipment not funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provide essential resources to maintain the exceptional level of compassionate patient care, and invest in new and innovative technology.

To make a donation, click here or call 519-751-5510.

This holiday season, give a gift and be a part of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign.

Photo above: Dr. Uthayalingam