Lights for Life – Pediatric ED

Thursday, November 18, 2010  •  Patient Stories

It takes a Community to save a child’s life …. A child like Landon…

“Boy… 2-years old… found submerged in a pool.”

The brief details came through the call radio in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Landon Roberson was being rushed to LRMC by a team of paramedics. “He’s intubated and has a heart rate,” they informed.

Immediately, assignments were given, technicians put on standby, equipment set up and ready. The medical team was in place and waiting. They have only a minute to clear their minds, take a deep breath and prepare for what they need to do.

The nightmare that day began when Landon’s grandmother, Julie Roberson, found him floating face down in the pool completely unconscious.

“I grabbed him and started screaming – CALL 911!” “He wasn’t breathing,” she recalls. “I put him on the floor of the dining room and started CPR. Every third or fourth puff he’d give this huge gasp, and then there was nothing.”

Landon’s mom and dad, Joni and David, were both at work that day. After getting the call to come home immediately, they arrived in a panic to find fire rescue, an ambulance and police cars at the home.

The paramedics worked quickly on Landon, managing to get him stable enough to take him to Lakeland Regional. And upon arrival, Mom and Dad said one more prayer as their son left their sight and was whisked into the Pediatric Emergency Department.

X-rays showed that Landon had taken in lots of water. His heart rate fluctuated drastically – dwindling to almost 50 beats per minute at times, and he was not breathing on his own. His body temperature was a low 88.8 degrees.

The doctor and nurses gave Landon some medications and worked to get his heart rate up. A brand new pediatric warming device was used to get his body temperature back to normal.

Sue Hinds was one of the nurses on shift the day that Landon arrived. At some point, amidst the chaos, Sue went to check on the family. “I walked into the room – mom and dad are hugging each other and crying, looking for that glimmer of hope.”

“At that point,” according to Sue, “we had stabilized his breathing and maintained his heart rhythm. I was positive that he had had enough oxygen to his brain and organs. There was reasonfor hope.”

“I tried to prepare them for what they’d see when they came in.” Sue noted that a lot was in Landon’s favor, “The grandma had done the right thing (giving CPR), and the ambulance had come quickly.” Dr. Maureen Webster, one of LRMC’s Pediatric Emergency Specialists, was also very hopeful.

The family was brought back to Landon’s room. They all took a deep sigh.

Landon’s grandmother Julie recalls, “We were amazed that the nurses let us back there. They had so many people working on him. Plus, there were five to six of us all touching and talking to him.”

Landon started to wake up, moving his arms and legs. Julie remembers, “You’d tickle his feet and they’d start moving. Then he started squeezing hands.” His mother remembers being both amazed and grateful that he was alive.

Landon was taken to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa for observation and released soon after with no side effects or problems, to the astonishment of his family, the nurses and all of the first responders who cared for him.

Sue recalls, “When he left, there was lots of hope in the air. We were praying with them and for them that there was a long life left in this little guy.”

She added, “It was a rewarding feeling that we had done everything that medicine could offer this little boy. It’s a great success story that we will talk about for a long time.”