Two children from Aberdeen ended up in Avera McKennan's Pediatric Unit in Sioux Falls with a very rare complication from pneumonia. Not only is it rare how very sick they both had gotten, but that they both ended up in the hospital needing medical intervention. How they bounced back is even more remarkable.
Michele Titus is a mother of 5 from Aberdeen who seen much of her home in the last month. Her stay in Sioux Falls started in mid-February when her youngest, 3 year old Jordan, was airlifted from Avera St. Luke's to Avera McKennan.
Michele says, "He was so sick. They showed us the x-ray and he was so very sick. They intubated him and put chest tubes in him. In fact, we counted 12 tubes coming out of him. He was on a ventilator. It was awful. I didn't leave his side."
He was diagnosed with strep pneumonia. A bacteria that half the population carries, but after Jordan caught a virus that cold turned from bad to worse.
Pediatrician Dr. Kara Bruning at the main McGreevy Clinic Avera says, "Sometimes pneumonia gets really bad and you can get fluid outside the lung in between the chest and the lung called pleural effusions. You have to put chest tubes in to drain the fluids and that alone is very rare. When that fluid becomes infected you have to surgically remove it and that's even rarer."
When Jordan came to Avera McKennan he was already at Stage 3 and was in the PICU for 3 days. By the time Jordan was well enough to go home, his 12 year old sister Cassie got sick.
Cassie says, "My back was aching and my neck was still, I was coughing and puking. It hurt when I moved."
Michele says, "When she was sick it started out with flu like symptoms, so we thought, but she wasn't getting better and she wasn't getting better. She had pneumonia as well."
Cassie was brought to Sioux Falls by ambulance March 1st with the same thing her brother had which is pleural effusions, but she didn't need surgery to remove the fluid. Her chest tubes did the trick. She had two of them and her 2nd one was removed the day we were there which was March 12th.
Dr. Bruning says, "Pleural effusions are rare. We don't see it very often but to have see 2 children from the same family (and not the rest of the kids) end up in ICU with chest tubes is exceedingly rare."
Because even sometimes a mom's kiss isn't enough to make it all better, Michele is grateful the care her children got at Avera McKennan was.
The Titus family has been reunited in Aberdeen now and everyone is doing well. Dr. Bruning says, although pneumonia is fairly common, they only see about one to two cases of pleural effusions a year at Avera McKennan.