Kiley Strickland’s LRMC Patient Story

Thursday, May 12, 2011  •  Patient Stories

Kiley Strickland

“She started to itch a little bit and she said she didn’t feel well,” recalled Bevin.  “I put her in the shower to see if that would relieve the itching.”

But soon after, Bevin noticed that Kiley’s eye and the side of her mouth began to swell and there were welts all over her body. Bevin remembers comparing it to the scene of the movie Hitch, when Will Smith’s character had such a severe allergic reaction that he looked unrecognizable.  “When I made that comparison, I realized Kiley was having an allergic reaction,” said Bevin.

Bevin and her husband, Mike, stayed calm and quickly made the decision to take Kiley to the nearest walk-in emergency clinic where she was seen immediately.  However, once the physicians and nurses at the clinic saw Kiley’s condition, they referred them directly to Lakeland Regional’s ER for specialized pediatric emergency care.

“When they directed us to go straight to the hospital, that’s when I got really nervous because I realized just how serious it was,” said Bevin.

Bevin was thankful to learn that children who come to LRMC’s ER are immediately taken to a secure, child-friendly pediatric area.  In Polk County, only LRMC’s ER is staffed with emergency-trained pediatricians and pediatric nurses, including a pediatric triage nurse who sees younger patients upon arrival and can quickly assess the seriousness of the situation.

“There is a vast difference between adult emergencies and those of young children,” said Pam Bryan, RN, who specializes in pediatric care.  Pam had the opportunity to treat Kiley when she arrived and said her specialized training and experience helped put Kiley’s parents at ease.  “We’re all about pediatrics.  It’s our team and the way we’re trained to communicate with children and their parents that makes the difference,” said Pam.

“When we walked through the doors and the nurses saw Kiley, they took us back immediately,” said Bevin.  “She was seen rather quickly and given an antihistamine, Epipen® and steroid.”

Kiley’s body reacted well to the treatment and all her symptoms – that just the hour before had made her unrecognizable – were beginning to disappear. The pediatrician kept the family there for a while longer to monitor Kiley’s condition; and soon after they were on their way home.

“We were there for a total of two hours, beginning to end.  And that was it,” said Bevin. “And the care we received at Lakeland Regional was exceptional from the time we arrived until we were discharged.”

When Bevin thought back to the day’s events, she says that she did not drive to Lakeland Regional first because it was further away and she expected it to be inconvenient and crowded.

“In the future, I will not think twice about bringing either of my children to Lakeland Regional when we are faced with an emergency situation.  I know that we will be treated immediately in a child-friendly environment, with specialized pediatric care,” said Bevin.

Today, Kiley is a happy-go-lucky pre-schooler thanks, in part, to the Pediatric ER at Lakeland Regional.  Fortunately her allergic reaction was not life threatening, and she was able to get home before bedtime.  But had it been more serious, her family will sleep better knowing that highly-advanced pediatric care is always close by.