Comforting Kids in an Emergency
My name is Matthew Knippling. I'm from Flandreau, South Dakota and I actually work up here in Brookings for SDSU Extension. I have a son, Liam, who is 11, Gillian, 9 and then my wife, Erica.
What brought you to Brookings Health System?
We had to bring Liam, who is 11 now, in because we weren't really sure what was going on. He just didn't act right, didn't seem to feel right. So we brought him into the hospital and they did a quick scan and asked him some questions and then they found out that his appendix had burst.
What symptoms was Liam showing?
At first it was just more of like a flu bug or something going around because he wasn't complaining about it really hurt. It was more uncomfortable, so whether his appendix had burst at that time we didn't know because he wasn't really complaining about a lot of pain. We thought it was just some regular flu bug going around. But then, by the time Sunday came around and he didn't really want to eat, didn't want to get up and move around anymore, then we figured that something a little bit more was wrong. And so we brought him in here to Brookings and right away the ED staff, you know, asked him a few questions just to kind of get started. Brought him in for a scan and then it was right away they could tell that it was his appendix was either having problems or had ruptured.
Why did you choose Brookings Health System?
We've had both of our kids here, come here for all of our health concerns and needs. Gillian actually came here and had her tonsils and adenoids taken out. And so it's just been a really nice place to come and we've always gotten great care here.
How did Dr. Johnson put Liam at ease before surgery?
Dr. Johnson put Liam at ease by talking to Liam, not just explaining to us what was happening and answering our questions. They talked to him, really going over the process and telling him that he had done it so many times and explaining it to him that it was, you know, something he was really comfortable with. Answering all of Liam's questions in terms that he would understand and not really over complicating it.
How was Liam's recovery?
Liam was in the hospital for about two days after his surgery. He came in Sunday afternoon and then left Tuesday afternoon. At first he was really quiet and lethargic again kind of like he was before, but as they kept checking on him he felt better and better. After a little bit, he kind of had to apologize because he didn't want them to feel like he was ignoring them. Because as he felt better, he was moving around more and just slowly started to interact with them more. And then, like he said, they were always talking to him and that made him feel really comfortable. Kind of helped with the recovery, I think.
How did the inpatient care staff care for Liam during his recovery?
He liked it when the doctors came in that they talked to him and then they would ask if we had any questions. But they would come and talk to him first and he was their priority, which kind of made us feel better too. You could say it felt like we were VIPs but it seems like every time we've been here they've treated us, you know, like that. So I think they treat everyone equally as well. They all came in and were talking to him and introduced themselves. When he started feeling better, he would go out and say hi to them and they would introduce or say hi as well. It just made him feel like he was kind of at home.
What are the advantages of surgery at a local hospital?
It's really nice having the options that we do, but I think we would have been more of just, like I said before, another number and not have the attention that we would have gotten. Having it this close, that way we could run back and forth to home to get everything that we needed. It was really nice being in the expansion or the new rooms. They really felt comfortable and since we were here for a few days, it was kind of a nice room to be in.
What did you appreciate most about Brookings Health System?
We were pretty worried when they told us that it was his appendix that had ruptured, but I think that when they came out and actually talked to us and answered all of our questions and his questions, it kind of put us at ease a little bit more.
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