Ashleigh’s Hospital Visit

I have to begin by saying that every thing is now fine with Ashleigh’s health.

However, on Monday she was complaining of a sore throat most of the day. Then around 1pm I noticed her breathing seemed very shallow and she seemed very lacking in energy. Then she was having pain in her chest and back. The breathing problems alone had me concerned but when the pain come on we went straight to the doctor. I spoke with our GP on the phone and he told us to take her in straight away. He listened to her breathing and told us to go to the local hospital for an emergency chest x-ray. At this point we were told medication or even surgery could be necessary.

When you have words like "breathing problems" and "emergency" being used and your 3 year old is struggling it can be very distressing for a parent. 

So we went to the Accident and Emergency department at our local hospital, Antrim Area Hospital, and they saw her immediately. Within a short time she was being given oxygen, had places on her arms and hands set up for an IV (which was not needed, thankfully), doctors and nurses were repeatedly checking her over and they took a chest x-ray. 

Through it all Ashleigh reacted really well and though I think she was a little frightened she mostly went with the flow. I think the lollipop she was given kind of helped somewhat. 🙂 

Eventually her breathing got a little better and the immediate problem subsided. Ashleigh was admitted to the children’s ward. After being treated with steroids and more oxygen she seemed much better.

Ashleigh and Carrie stayed in hospital over night and so I returned home for a change of clothing and other items they needed. 

On Tuesday I went back to the hospital and having spoken with the doctors they said Ashleigh was fine to come home. She is back to pushing her little brother around and making a mess of the house – so back to normal I would say.

At times when every thing was happening I felt much as I did when there were complications with Samuel’s birth. I guess I am still discovering the joys and pains a father experiences with his children.

We cannot say how much we appreciated the help that Joe Gammon and the Skillen family were to us. Not having blood relatives here often makes things a little more difficult, but the way others have become just like family has always blessed and encouraged us. Peter and Anne and there daugthers have really been a help and we wanted to let them know how much we appreciated them.

Perhaps a word should be said for the NHS as well. Many complain about the NHS, but we have never had an issue. Within 30 minutes of a problem being recognised by a local doctor we were in an Intermediate Care ward at an hospital with our daughter recieving the concentrated attention of a couple of doctors, several nurses and all the medical equipement that was needed. The NHS may not be perfect, but then no system is. I have to say the NHS personnel that helped us were fantastic.

By the shouting and running Ashleigh has been doing this morning I would say every thing is back to normal.

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