Quentin's Story: His First Christmas spent at Cook Children's
A family travels to Fort Worth for treatment of whooping cough
The visits from Santa Claus and a gift of a teddy bear served as reminders of Christmas. But it wasn’t until they walked out of Cook Children’s with their healthy baby in tow that it hit the Gutierrez family that they had spent the holiday in the confines of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
“I didn’t remember it was Christmas until we left on the 26th of December," Bryan Gutierrez said. “Everything was just such a blur during our stay. I just know we were so thankful. The whole time we were at Cook Children’s, we had a feeling we were very much in angels’ hands.”
Unfortunately, their first Christmas didn’t go as Christina and Bryan hoped after their baby Quentin was born in November 2008. Within three weeks of his birth, Quentin contracted pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
Quentin experienced coughing so violent that at one point, he stopped breathing. He was rushed to a hospital in the family’s then hometown of Odessa, where the local hospital was unable to diagnose Quentin.
The coughing progressed and there was fear that Quentin's lungs would collapse. The family felt they needed more specialized care and requested a transfer to a children’s PICU.
The Gutierrez family was presented with options on where to take Quentin and decided to go with their little boy to Fort Worth.
“When we were presented with the options, I went online to research the different hospitals,” Christina said. “I found that Cook Children’s was highly rated and recommended. After looking into everything, I knew this was the place for our little boy.”
Bryan vividly recalls the Cook Children’s Teddy Bear Transport arriving in the morning to take Quentin. He said it didn’t take long to feel a sense of relief that he and his wife hadn’t felt since their son became ill.
“At the original facility, our son would turn blue. The coughing fits were getting to the point where his newborn lungs began to collapse. The doctors had failed to diagnose him or provide a treatment plan. According to the facility in Odessa, the pertussis lab test would take a couple of weeks. As soon as we walked into Cook Children's the doctors stated, "This looks like pertussis; we see this several times a year". During his first coughing fit, the nurses at Cook Children's knew exactly how to help him. We could tell we were now at a different level of care and professionalism,” Bryan said. “Within 30 minutes of our arrival, one nurse got Quentin stabilized and comforted me, all while getting us settled in. We were in the hospital for three weeks while Quentin was given the best care. The bedside manner, level of professionalism and attention to our mindset, as anxious parents, was outstanding. Our baby boy was given a clean bill of health three weeks later and we went home as extremely grateful parents.”
Quentin received care for his lungs, cleaning them out and monitoring them. The Gutierrez family would sit in on conversations between doctors and nurses during shift change. They said that transparency contributed to their confidence that they were in the right hands.
Eight years later, Quentin is a perfectly happy and healthy boy. His parents still remember their first Christmas and are thankful for who their son has become.
“When we think back to how sick he was as a baby, we are just so happy to have him in our lives,” Bryan said. “We know every parent thinks their child is special but we think he’s going to do great things someday. He’s truly a special little guy with a big heart and extremely smart. He does very well in school. He was doing an exercise at his elementary school in Flower Mound and he drew himself as president. He said the biggest thing he would do as president is be kind to everybody. I think that exemplifies what kind of child he is and proves when he was sick as a baby, it just wasn’t his time. We thank God, and Cook Children’s, for that.”
About Cook Children's PICU
The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Cook Children's Medical Center cares for children with life-threatening illnesses or injuries. On-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week are two physician specialists (board certified in pediatric intensive care or board certified pediatric cardiologist) and a nurse practitioner trained in pediatric intensive care. Specialty physicians, such as neurologists, pulmonologists, oncologists and cardiologists, are available for consultation or referrals. Click to learn more.