This article originally appeared in Star Chronicle, a newsletter
published for the Children's Medical Center.
A parent's worse fear is that something terrible may happen to his/her child.
Unfortunately for the Marouses, this fear came true in March 2007, and adding to
that fear was that Mr. and Mrs. Marous were almost 1,000 miles away from their
Teddy Marous, 13-months-old, was staying with his grandparents when the three
of them were in a car accident. While his grandparents sustained minor injuries,
Teddy suffered severe head trauma.
Scot Bateman, MD, chief, Pediatric Critical Care, explains the first call to
Teddy's parents was somewhat difficult, "It was a challenge trying to
communicate with them in an effective way since they were in an airport awaiting
a flight home," said Dr. Bateman.
When Teddy's parents arrived at UMass Memorial, he was on a ventilator in the
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with an orbital fracture, a brain injury
and a neck injury. "When a child has this many serious injuries, it takes a huge
team effort. His treatment required PICU physicians and nurses, specialists,
pharmacists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, social
workers and child life specialists," says Dr. Bateman.
After one week, Teddy was well enough to be transferred for rehabilitation of
the left side of his body. "Anybody's child being in the ICU is a family's worst
nightmare. Our job is to make it as comfortable as possible while they are
here," said Dr. Bateman. Comfortable as possible is exactly what the team
Kathryn Marous, Teddy's mother, describes her experience with the PICU team
as "extremely impressive." Her two older children spent time in a Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit, so she was familiar with an intensive care setting. What
she was not as familiar with was the high level of care families can receive
outside of Boston.
"After hearing Teddy's diagnosis, I spoke with a Boston physician I had dealt
with on numerous occasions who told me that he would consider coming to
Worcester to consult Dr. Oguz Cataltepe, pediatric neurosurgeon, had one of his
own children sustained an injury like Teddy's," Mrs. Marous said.
In addition to Teddy's outstanding medical care, Mrs. Marous was also
impressed by the level of family centered care that she received. She describes
Dr. Bateman as "helpful, nice, responsive, compassionate and kind to her
family." Child Life staff were a "breath of fresh air" when it came to telling
her two older children about Teddy's injuries.
"We could not have been more impressed and satisfied by the care we received
across the board from the Children's Medical Center," explained Mrs. Marous.
Teddy, after completing rehabilitation, is now as active and rambunctious as
any 2-year old.