It was 2 am, and 5-year-old Anaiah was having trouble breathing. Her mother, Maria, drove several miles from her home in the pouring rain to bring Anaiah to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.
“I hadn’t slept in nights; I was afraid to go to sleep because I was afraid she’d stop breathing,” said Maria.
When they arrived at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Anaiah was immediately taken into a treatment room and examined by David Hooke, MD, attending physician in the Emergency Department.
“No waiting time, no running around, no ‘OK, fill this out and sit down and wait six hours,’” said Maria. “The whole team, from the nurse in the front, to the overnight shift, to the respiratory therapist and the X-ray tech – they were just so super-responsive from the moment I walked in the door.”
Dr. Hooke assessed Anaiah’s condition, diagnosed her breathing trouble as asthma and called in a respiratory therapist to initiate treatment to stabilize Anaiah’s breathing. They also taught Maria what to look and listen for during her daughter’s asthma attacks.
“Our nurses, our doctors are all there to take care of the whole family,” added Deanna Soloway, MD, medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department, noting that in addition to the ER physicians, other specialists are also available.
Anaiah’s single ER visit with Dr. Hooke spearheaded an array of treatments with specialists she needed to see.
“The pulmonologist is cooperating with the allergist. The allergist is cooperating with the respiratory specialist. The respiratory specialist is coordinating information with her primary care doctor. I had no idea that my daughter needed to see all those different specialists,” Maria said.
Now Anaiah gets weekly allergy shots, takes additional medication and gets asthma treatments every other day. She loves to read and hopes she’ll soon be able to resume karate, another favorite activity.
“More than making the proper diagnosis, Joe DiMaggio’s gave me confidence to be more proactive in my daughter’s care and be a better parent,” Maria said.