Just another reason we love living in the Mahoning Valley

Chris comforts Bekah during her ER visit

Chris comforts Bekah during an ER visit

Before we had Bekah, I never really thought much about how incredible it is that there’s a Children’s Hospital right here in the Mahoning Valley. In fact, I never really knew that it was here at all.

It’s not something that most people think about until they, or someone they know, need it for something.

Sure, it’s easy to think about a Children’s Hospital when you know a child is very sick, or terribly injured.

But what about those times when a baby has a fever in the middle of the night, or a Little Leaguer breaks a leg sliding into third? Or, how about when a child is really sick and needs to stay hospitalized over an extended period for treatments?

Those are the times, those little, seemingly unimportant times to a bystander, that a local hospital that is devoted solely to children can make all of the difference in the world.

With Bekah, it was obvious fairly quickly that her initial needs were far greater than those that can be handled at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus. She was sent to Akron, and so we were left without being able to learn about our local hospital and Children’s ER…until she became sick last summer.

When Bekah was sick last summer over a weekend, her doctor was quick to recommend we take her to the Children’s ER in Boardman.

Chris holds Bekah during a recent ER visit

Chris holds Bekah during an ER visit

Again, just before Christmas when Bekah had an unexplainable fever, we took her to the pediatrician, who suggested that since she didn’t see any reason for the fever either, we take her to the Beeghly ER because they could check her again and take blood work to test for anything that Bekah’s pediatrician and her staff may not have seen there in the office.

It was beyond reassuring to know, each time, that when we walked through the doors we weren’t going to see nurses and doctors who might rather be treating an adult, but instead someone who’s not only used to seeing children, but specializes in treating children, and all of the extra things (like hurt feelings, being scared, nervous parents, crying for a million reasons – only one of which is because of illness or injury) that go along with seeing kids on a regular basis.

When we found out about Bekah’s heart problem, there would have been time to change hospitals and take her anywhere we thought she may have better care. We didn’t for the obvious reason that Akron Children’s was the best place for her.

But when a child is injured in an accident, or a sudden illness sets in, there just isn’t time for the luxury of researching the best hospital, doctor, or plan of care.

Knowing there is a place, here in the Mahoning Valley, that can offer the best care from people who are more than qualified to make sometimes incredibly hard and quick decisions is so very comforting as a parent of a child who, unless she grows out of her love of jumping off things, will probably visit the ER more times than her father or I would like her to.

Bekah at the 2012 Miracles and Promises Radiothon

Bekah at the 2012 Miracles and Promises Radiothon

And that, even more than all of the familiar faces our family has grown to love since Bekah’s tumultuous entry into the world, is what makes us love being so close to our local Akron Children’s branch.

September 18-20th Bekah and I will spend our days listening to and cheering for the Miracles and Promises Radiothon.

We’d love for you to listen to the stories of so many others whose lives have been touched by the incredible work done through Akron Children’s Hospital.

Read the rest of the Plant family’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.

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About Sarah Plant, Patient Family

Sarah Plant and her husband, Christopher, live in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, with their daughter, Bekah, and a rabbit named Gussie. She enjoys bike riding and spending time with friends, family and her fellow church members. Sarah is a stay-at-home mom and former high school English teacher. In her "Following Your Heart" blog, Sarah shares her experiences as a first-time mom whose baby was born with a congenital heart defect as well as a mom of a healthy boy.

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