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Saving Rosie from Respiratory Distress

150 Years Stronger Patient Story Rosie

A mother’s intuition is a powerful tool. Rosie was 3 months old when her mom, Kelsey, had a bad feeling. “My older kids also seemed to sense something was wrong,” she recalls. Kelsey took Rosie to the doctor three times that week. The pediatrician dismissed her concerns and suggested postpartum depression caused her to overreact.

But Rosie made odd noises and bubbles were forming on her mouth. Kelsey trusted her instinct. A doctor at a local walk-in clinic noticed Rosie’s retracting ribs and flared nostrils. She called 911 within a minute of their arrival.

Rosie was in respiratory distress and began to decline. Staff at the community hospital called Children’s National Hospital. Our rapid helicopter transport service, SkyBear, delivered Rosie to our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) within minutes. “I can’t say enough about how comforting and calming everyone was,” Kelsey says. “They asked questions and were very forthcoming with information.”

Rosie had respiratory syncytial virus and could barely breathe. This common virus usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can be serious in infants whose airways aren’t well-developed. Rosie stayed for three nights in our pediatric intensive care unit and went home after two more days of observation. Before she was released, the doctor educated Kelsey on signs of respiratory distress.

“We will never forget the care Rosie got,” she says. “Everyone listened. Everyone smiled. Everyone focused on her. We were lucky to be there and so grateful to leave with a happy, healthy baby.”