Dear parent of a child with urinary tract reflux,

When my daughter was 8-weeks-old she came down with a fever of 105 degrees Farenheit. The pediatrician told me to take her to the emergency room at Children's National right away. After running many tests they said we would have to stay until they could find the source of the fever. Soon we learned that she had urinary tract reflux. Over the next three years, we were in and out of the hospital waiting for her condition to resolve itself. Unfortunately, it didn't and our daughter had surgery to correct the problem when she was three-years-old.

What I would like to say to you is that you are not alone. Don't be afraid to talk to other parents and to reach out to them, no matter what condition their child has. It is this connection with other parents that will make your journey easier. Be proactive in the hospital. Listen to everything the doctors and nurses say and ask questions. You are the common thread in your child's treatment. Shifts at the hospital change and doctors rotate, but you will always be there. Trust your instincts and advocate for your child when it is necessary. Bring the comforts of home with you if your child must be in the hospital. A comforter or blanket, a coffee pot and snacks. Don't be afraid to make your stay as comfortable as possible for you and your child. You will need it to be.

In closing, I wish I could wrap my arms around you and tell you that it will be ok. The doctors and nurses at Children's National will take care of your child and they will help you, too. They are wonderful! Each new challenge carries with it the possibility of a greater joy. May your cup overflow.


Katie's mom, Lynette



Video: Introduction to the Parent's Letter Project

The Parent's Letter Project lets Children's National Medical Center parents whose children have faced medical crises use their experience to support others.

Urologic conditions and disorders - Letters