Mother grateful for treatment at Palmetto Health Children's Hosp - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Mother grateful for treatment at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital

Posted: Updated:

The pitter patter of little feet is something Caroline Davis hears daily, as her toddler, Jack, is always on the move.

"He's running around like a crazy man and getting into everything, and busy. He's great," said Davis.

Jack is full of energy, and healthy; all of the things his mother always hoped for but at one time worried about.

Davis says her pregnancy with Jack was normal until about 25 weeks, when a routine checkup and ultrasound showed Jack had an accelerated heartbeat.

"They told me not to worry, it's really common, almost all kids grow out of it, there's a  1% chance this could turn into tachycardia," said Davis.

Jack ended up being in that 1%. In a follow-up appointment an ultrasound showed he was in full tachycardia, where the heart exceeds the normal rate.

Jacks heart was beating so fast that it couldn't manage to pump fluid through it.

Davis say a specialist at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital, Dr. C. Osborne Shuler.

"Very often when I see a child with a heart defect like his with the rapid heart rate, they respond to one medication," Shuler said. "You put the mother on medication and they do wonderfully throughout the pregnancy. He was a little difficult in that he took multiple medications."  

 It took three different medications to bring Jack's heart rate down, and all of them had to go through his mother first.

"I essentially had to give her medication to a toxic level to get enough of it into her child," said Dr. Shuler. 

Davis stayed at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital for a little more than two weeks so she could have several ultrasounds so doctors could monitor Jacks heartbeat. 

Finally she was able to go home and enjoy the rest of her pregnancy. And 6 weeks later, Jack was born with a healthy heartbeat.

Although Jack's heart was healthy, he was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and monitored. Davis said the nurses and doctors prepped her and her husband, both first time parents.

"The pharmacy showed us how to give him his medicine he needed during his first year so the staff here, not only were they caring, but they empowered us to be parents to a baby who was sick," said Caroline.

Jack had to take medicine every 12 hours for the first year of his life.

"He was certainly a unique case. I have never had such trouble treating a rapid heart rate as I did with Jack, so he will always be a memorable case," said Shuler.

Jack went from being in the 1% of children who develop tachycardia to the 90% who grow out of it.

"I think it taught us to be grateful and not take this for granted. It could have worked out really differently, so I am just really thankful," said Davis.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow