Experts within the Alberta Children’s Hospital Emergency Department are ready to care for children in our community 24/7/365. The Hillier family knows that first-hand. On Sept. 11, Andrew went to a community field to play soccer with some friends. While he was goalie, he went to kick the ball out but fell backwards. Suddenly, the wind picked up and the metal hockey net they were using fell on top of him. As his friends rushed to help lift the net off of him, he started throwing up and complaining of severe pain in his abdomen. A friend’s mom took him home and his parents called 811, who suggested he go to Emergency at the Alberta Children’s Hospital immediately. His mom thought maybe he had a cracked rib. They would soon find out the fluke accident caused much more damage.
Julie remembers how panicked she felt in the Emergency Room but also a sense of relief as she and Mark watched about a dozen people filled the room to start caring for Andrew. Through an X-Ray, a portable ultrasound brought right to him, which was purchased for the department through Radiothon, and a CT Scan, doctors determined Andrew had a puncture in his small intestine.
Dr. Steve Lopushinsky performed a five-hour operation to remove a small section of Andrew’s small intestine and reattach it. He spent a day and a half in the ICU and 10 days on Unit 4. Despite the fact he couldn’t eat or drink for seven days while his intestine recovered, Andrew enjoyed doing crafts over Zoom with Child Life specialists, building Lego with hospital volunteers, and playing video games with nurse Claire, moments his parents will always cherish as well. Mark was also impressed with how everyone in the trauma unit worked so well as a team and knew exactly what to do to treat his son’s specific injury. His parents also loved how they could sleep overnight next to their son during what could have been an otherwise frightening time for him. Rather Andrew will tell you that he liked the hospital so much, he didn’t want to leave!
He and his family are so grateful the hospital was there for them when they needed it, and grateful for the donors who support the state-of-the-art equipment and family-centred care programs they relied on so much.
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