After her son Eli’s Taekwondo class in late June, Laurie Shalley noticed the 12-year-old boy was walking with a pronounced limp.
“When I asked him if he hurt it at class, he said ‘no,’” recalled Laurie. “But you could see he was in obvious pain.”
It was only after he began developing high fevers that she knew something was seriously wrong. He was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, who suspected Eli had a septic infection in his hip.
“It was a really uncertain and scary time for Eli, and for all of us,” says Laurie.
He was admitted to the Regina General Hospital right away and immediately sent for surgery to drain his hip. The life-changing operation was made possible thanks to the Foundation’s 2014 surgical campaign, which helped equip Regina’s operating rooms with more than 37 pieces of new equipment.
While the operation was a success, follow-up tests revealed he had a blood infection and pneumonia. He spent the next 17 days in the hospital seeing a number of specialists, including an infectious disease specialist, paediatricians and follow up with the orthopedic surgeon.
Laurie admits it was a tense two and a half weeks, but she took comfort in knowing that Eli was receiving the best possible care in his time of need.
The staff was amazing,” says Laurie. “We were really impressed with the seamless and collaborative care he received.
While there had been some consideration given to sending him to the pediatric intensive care unit in Saskatoon, it was determined that he would receive equally excellent care in Regina. Last year alone, we invested more than $1 million to the Pediatric Unit through the purchase of four new high acuity beds.
“It was really significant that he could remain in Regina,” says Laurie. “I was able to stay with him in the hospital the entire time and my husband was able to work and take care of our younger son.”
She explains that it also helped Eli cope with all of the scary things he was facing.
“He really needed me here with him. My participation in his care, where possible, helped preserve his dignity, considering he’s a 12-year-old boy who is used to being independent.”
Now that he’s recovered and at home Eli recalls his time in the hospital as “scary, painful and kind of boring.” He did however appreciate visits from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a handmade quilt from a donor, and a staff that treated him very well.
For Laurie, she is just happy to have him at home and recovering as he starts seventh grade at Henry Janzen school.
“We actually feel thankful,” she explained.
It was terrifying in the beginning, but we are just focused on the future. We’re grateful he received the care he did.
She says that excellent care would not have been possible without the community’s continued support of Hospitals of Regina Foundation.
“The equipment Eli needed was there thanks to the generosity of donors,” she says.
Having top quality equipment helps match the talent of the medical staff we have in this community. It helps them provide the best possible care. We are extremely grateful for the amazing care Eli received during a very difficult time.
Learn more about the amazing pediatric care available in Regina's hospitals by watching this inspiring video.