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Matthew's Story

One day, Lisa got a curious call from her child's day care center in Henderson, North Carolina.  Her son, Matthew, had a low-grade fever and was complaining of leg pain. As soon as she could, his mom left work to pick up her son. By the time she arrived at the day care center, Matthew was in agony.

"Whatever he had had gotten worse," his mom recalled. "I got scared and took him to the emergency room."

Doctors at the local community hospital were stumped by Matthew's symptoms, but they knew the pediatric specialists at WakeMed Children's Emergency Department could get to the root of the problem.

At the WakeMed Children's ED, Matthew saw several physicians, had some tests, and, within a couple of hours, received a diagnosis: septic hip. Septic hip is a serious bacterial infection of the hip joint that is more often seen in adults than children.

Matthew's infection was so severe that he required surgery. His doctors later told Lisa that if the condition had gone untreated much longer, Matthew could have lost his leg. After a stay in the hospital and six weeks of intravenous antibiotic therapy at home, Matthew was pronounced infection-free. He and his mother encountered many caregivers during his ordeal. They are thankful that Matthew and all the children in our region have access to specialized pediatric services at WakeMed Children's.

"As a nurse, I know good care when I see it, and everyone we encountered - every nurse, doctor, radiology technician, home care services, respiratory and physical therapists, even the people who brought him his meals - was absolutely wonderful," Lisa said.

Today, Matthew runs, plays, and giggles like a typical little boy, but his mom can't shake the knowledge that his story could have had a very different ending. "I shudder to think what would have happened if they hadn't decided to send us to WakeMed," she said.

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