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Finally Bringing Home Baby: Nancy and Charlie’s Story

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 7:03 AM

The birth of a new baby should be a time of excitement, but for Nancy Baker-Curtis, it was also a time of difficulty. Her son Charlie developed a bacterial infection, which made its way into his bloodstream and required immediate attention. During their time at NorthShore, Charlie's care team spread across a wide network, headed up by Pediatrician Dr. Belinda Chen, who created a care plan to ensure that Charlie would be back to health:

When did you become concerned about Charlie’s health? What changes had you started to see?
He came home from the hospital and had no health concerns. On the day of his first pediatric visit, I noticed that his feet were purple and his limbs seemed flaccid, not what I would expect for a baby that was born breech. It is hard to describe, but his behavior suddenly changed and he seemed lethargic, even for a newborn. 

What lead you to Dr. Belinda Chen and NorthShore? What was your impression after your first appointment?
She is my daughter's pediatrician and was an amazing health care advocate for all of her health concerns. Dr. Chen always heard my concerns and never made me feel that my concerns were unfounded. 

Charlie had a pretty spread out care team to help treat his infection and get back to good health – how did they make this stressful time easier and more comfortable for you and your family?
Communication was key, and being able to have systems and specialists communicate across healthcare organizations was essential. The physicians and specialists were great at asking questions and sifting through a mountain of data to provide diagnoses that considered the complexity of Charlie's particular case. 

How did NorthShore’s resources (like NorthShoreConnect) help you after Charlie began his recovery outside of the hospital?
NorthShoreConnect is a resource I regularly use to communicate with the team of doctors and specialists that are working to support Charlie. Charlie has many appointments every month, along with therapies and consultations. NorthShore Connect saves me time by being able to communicate directly with these individuals at my convenience. 

Charlie’s already a year old! What kinds of changes have you seen after the treatments at NorthShore?
Charlie has made significant improvements! We still have a lot of work to do, and the team of healthcare providers is there to guide us along the way. Recovery is a long process, and Charlie's pediatrician Dr. Chen is there to support and reassure us.  

What advice would you give to new parents who are unsure about knowing when to take their baby to a doctor or hospital?
Never question your own intuition! You may not be able to place a finger on the indicator or symptom, but as a parent you know something is wrong. Listen to your gut and advocate for your child. You are the expert on your child, be persistent, ask questions and never accept less than the best medical care.