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Receiving Care At The Home Of The Most Pediatric Specialists In Central Texas: Dell Children’s

The day of your first ultrasound with any pregnancy is extremely exciting.  The seconds and minutes in the doctor’s waiting room feel like hours.  The cold gel is thrilling knowing you are about to see that beautiful human being growing inside of you.  Your doctor will count their fingers and their toes, take their heart rate, as well as check for a “normal” developing fetus.  

So, the day of our first ultrasound, my husband and I found out we were having a son. It was also the day that we found out he had Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. It was a devastating day to say the least, I will never forget that day. My world turned upside down and around, rocked and flipped. My heart was rejoicing with the knowledge of my child, a son growing inside me and weeping at the sadness that my son would not be this “perfect” being I had imagined.

Today, over 8 years later, my son is actually the “perfect” being that I had imagined. He is exactly who he was supposed to be thanks to his strong will and our wonderful doctors.  

Just hours after our son was born, he was transferred to Dell Children’s Medical Center.  Dell Children’s is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.  We coordinated with our fantastic pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Timothy George’s office, so that our son would be in the best care possible in the Dell Children’s NICU, as well as the group of specialists and nurses who are part of the Spina Bifida program there.  

I had to stay behind at the hospital and recover from my C-section birth. Dr. George spoke to me through my husband to calm my nerves and answer all my questions right before the surgery.  The nurses took before and after pictures for me to document this experience for not only my knowledge as well as for my son’s understanding of his disability. 

Our son spent about 12 days in the Dell Children’s NICU after his back surgery.  He saw doctor after doctor, nurse after nurse.  It was an incredibly traumatic time in our lives, however at the same time, the knowledge of everyone who we came in contact with during our son’s stay was amazing.  We asked questions and received answers, we knew he was getting the utmost care possible.  It was a relief to actually see the doctor’s come into his room in person to check on him and smile at his progression.  Dell Children’s is our first choice in specialty hospital and medical care.    

Spina Bifida occurs in seven out of every 10,000 births.  It means open spine.  Our son was born with part of his spinal chord as well as nerves on the outside of his body in a covered lesion. Dr. George is our main neurosurgeon and we are incredibly grateful for him, his expertise as well as his impeccable team of nurses and doctors. 

Spina Bifida comes with other hardships such as issues with bowel and bladder control and paralysis.  One day a month, several specialists meet with SB children at the Spina Bifida Clinic at the Specialty Care Clinic.  It is wonderful to be able to check in with all of the intelligent doctors at one location.  Neurosurgeons, urologists, orthopedics, dieticians, as well as physical Therapists.  Thankfully, we only have to go for a check up once a year now to see the neurosurgeon and our urologist, Dr. George Seremetis.  

While in the NICU, it was discovered that our son might have a hearing loss.  It was then recommended to have additional testing done on his hearing with an audiologist at Dell Children’s.  Our audiologist was incredibly caring and forthright about what the testing entailed as well as offering support with guidance on a wonderful school program through AISD that he is still with today.  

Dr. Seremetis is Teak’s urologist, however, he also wears hearing aids like Teak, and every time we meet with him he smiles so big and shows Teak his cool hearing aids.  It is comforting to know he is caring and calming by relating to Teak on a more personal level.

Dell Children’s is convenient, specialized, and continues to grow with state of the art equipment and research. Our son has had three surgeries in his 8 years of life, which is not a lot for a child with SB, and each time it was at Dell Children’s.  We were comforted by the extensive amount of information we were given for each surgery and the friendliest nurses who honestly enjoyed working with children. 

Our son, Teak, is a true walking miracle.  We believe he is exactly how he was supposed to be with the help of his fantastic doctors and intense amount of prayer.  We were told our son would not walk however he is one of the fastest boys on his baseball team…every season.  

 

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