Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Category: Allergy Pearls

Jorge Antonio-Mcku, alias Chico, arrived to America just after Christmas. He was accompanied by his father, mother, and baby brother. His five-year-old brother and eleven-year-old sister stayed back in Chacsinkin, Yucatan with his grandparents. Chico was sponsored by the entire CCC mission team, which consists of 24 people in the Acadiana area and a few other states in America. In the process of working up Chico for his ventriculoperitoneal shunt repair, which was done by Dr. Lynn Rogers at no charge, it was discovered that he had profound anemia. His hematocrit was only 20, with a normal being closer to 40. This would be an alarm number for most Americans and would probably necessitate immediate hospitalization for workup. In Chico's case, we did an outpatient workup and also began to evaluate his kidneys, which we found were not in good shape. To make a long story short, we treated his kidney infection with IV antibiotics, first outpatient intravenously, and then inpatient we consulted urology and put him on a regiment to preserve what kidney function he has (which is about 20% of normal). The good news is Dr. Rogers, the neurosurgeon volunteered from New Orleans, felt he did not need his ventriculoperitoneal shunt repaired because he was compensating on his own. This was quite a surprise and perhaps our first miracle. The next miracle we are praying for is that we can maintain his kidney function where it is for as long as possible, hopefully for 5 to 10 or more years until other kidney options are available (this might include a kidney machine or a kidney transplant). Who knows what future miracles are ahead for Chico. Up until now, I have summarized Chico's medical diagnosis and care, but now I would like to tell you about the real everyday miracles that I observed while he was at our home for 2 1/2 weeks with his family. Dr. Cong Vo, one of the most Christian men and one of the biggest hearted men I have ever known in my life, was totally responsible for bringing Chico to America. He arranged with Mimi Roberson and Women & Children's Hospital to provide all the needed services free. This was extremely generous on the hospital's part and the CCC mission team appreciates it greatly. He also arranged with Lafayette General to do the shuntogram and with Southwest Medical Center of Acadiana to do his kidney scan. All of these services were provided totally free by all three hospitals to the tune of greater than $10,000. This is an awesome and generous gift and was given freely without any defensiveness or negativity what-so-ever. In fact, the warmth and openness of every single doctor involved was overwhelming to me as a practicing physician. The next person who is a major contributor to Chico's care was Dr. Jude Barras, his attending pediatrician while in the hospital. Dr. Jude put the entire case in prospective and helped make the important decisions about surgery and kidney treatment. Equally important, he pulled in his friend, Dr. Jeffery Thibodeaux, while at mass and asked him to help us with his urologic care. Dr. Jeffery Thibodeaux came through like a champ. If Jude would be Mutt, then Dr. Thibodeaux would be Jeff (one is very tall and one is very short). But both are truly heart-warming doctors who care for their patients with tremendous compassion and professionalism. It was a real privilege to get to meet Dr. Jeffery Thibodeaux and I will always appreciate him going the extra mile for Chico. Another physician involved in the case was Dr. Chris Hubbell, a dermatologist who was on the CCC mission team in Chacsinkin last summer. Chris and his wife, Dawn, generously hosted the family several days while they were in America and took the entire family to the Tabasco plant. This was especially fun for Jorge, the father, because he grows hot chili peppers in Chacsinkin. The rest of the corp mission team, including Maxie Crane who started the mission, and Janet Delahoussaye who helped Maxie sell the mission to the other 21 of us, were actively involved in Chico's care and hosting on a daily basis. I truly appreciate all the loving care and time shared by all these wonderful people. As I said, the hospitals were extremely generous and the doctors involved, including Dr. Matthews, radiologist at Women & Children's, as well as the radiologist at Lafayette General and Southwest Medical Center of Acadiana, were extremely generous and professional toward us. Finally, the openness of Acadiana, as a whole, which was displayed with receptions of Chico's news interviews, which showed on Channels 3 and 10, and a newspaper article in the Daily Adverstiser, truly warmed my heart as his host parent for a few weeks. Chico is a special little boy who has brought out the best in all of us I think. Certainly, he has brought many fond memories to my wife and I and our children, and I hope to all the employees at Women and Children's Hospital especially the pediatric nurses. I do believe in miracles and encourage anyone who knows Chico to pray for his next big miracle which is a way of saving his kidneys for the long-term. Thanks to everyone involved in Chico's care and may God continue to bless him as he returns home to the Yucatan, Sunday, January 12, and for many years after that.