Dear parent of a child diagnosed with pyloric stenosis,

I know things seem scary right now. There is nothing more frightening than when someone tells you there is not only something dangerously wrong with your new baby, but that they might need surgery.

When Evi was less than two weeks old, she was having trouble eating. She was throwing up more and more, until finally she started losing weight and showing signs of dehydration. I knew something was wrong early on, but the doctors kept telling me that she had reflux and that "spitting up" was normal.

Except she wasn't spitting up. She was vomiting, sometimes projectile, ten or more times a day. The doctors finally listened when I was able to tell them details (more than a handful, ten or more times per day) and they put her on the scale to discover she'd lost a full pound in a week.

At three weeks old, she was rushed to Children's National Medical Center and admitted to surgery less than 48 hours later. Her surgery went quickly, and she was eating small amounts two hours later. She bounced back so quickly, like her body was desperate to eat as much as possible.

Less than two weeks after her surgery, she looked and acted like a totally different baby. She ate well, never spit up, and was growing like a weed. We spent less than three days in the hospital, but those three days saved my daughter's life.

Trust your instincts as a parent. If I'd listened to the doctors, my daughter could have died. Push the issue and make sure you're heard. It's better to be paranoid than miss something.

When you're in the hospital, keep smiling. Sometimes it was hard to walk down those hallways and see children in so much worse shape than my own and wonder if I deserved to even be there. But every child, every life matters, and Dr. Bear is working to save them all.

Sincerely, 

Evi's Mom

Evi - taken less than two weeks apart, one in the emergency room as we were being admitted and one, healthy, after surgery
Evi - taken less than two weeks apart, one in the emergency room as we were being admitted and one, healthy, after surgery
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The Parent's Letter Project lets Children's National Medical Center parents whose children have faced medical crises use their experience to support others.

Gastroenterology (stomach) and intestinal problems and conditions - Letters