DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Mary Scheid was visiting Central Florida from her home in Virginia, taking care of her grandchildren for the Labor Day weekend, when she noticed her grandson was having trouble breathing.
“I’m a respiratory therapist, and I don’t fool around with stuff like this,” Scheid said, noting that 2-year-old Colton has asthma and wears a pacemaker because of an unrelated heart condition.
Scheid was advised to bring Colton to the pediatric emergency room at AdventHealth Daytona Beach.
“I walked in and right away the tech came up and helped me, took his vitals and wheeled him into a room,” Scheid said. “The whole team was on him, giving him medicine and asking the right questions.”
The team was able to stabilize Colton, while making both him and Scheid feel at ease.
“At first he wouldn’t wear the oxygen mask; he was scared and fighting me,” she recalled. “They told me to sit on the stretcher with him, so I did. And I just held him and he felt safe.”
Today Colton is doing well, and Scheid remains grateful for his care team.
“The nurse was so sweet; she gave Colton and his little sister Olivia a little toy,” she said. “And they both still play with them in the bathtub.”
Colton is one of more than 96,000 children to be treated in the pediatric ER, which is part of the AdventHealth for Children care network, since the beginning of 2021. As well as nurses, the ER team includes two ER physicians board certified in pediatrics, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant, and Child Life specialists, who use play to help kids navigate their care experience. And having pediatric hospitalists on staff in the hospital’s inpatient pediatric unit means children who once would have been transferred can stay right in Daytona Beach for inpatient treatment.
The two sister units recently celebrated their fifth anniversary with a “birthday” party. Team members and patients celebrated with local mascots Shelldon from the Daytona Tortugas and Ernie the Eagle from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
“Parents like to have pediatric nurses taking care of their kids from an expertise point of view,” said assistant nurse manager Sarah Roberts, who treated Colton and has been working on the unit since its opening in 2017. “We bring patients back to a room and triage, rather than triaging in the lobby, so the nurse is having that interaction from the outset, and that’s an important part of the patient experience.”
Hospital leadership joined their team for the birthday celebration, and reflected on how the units have served the community.
“We know how important it is to offer convenient care that’s close to home,” said AdventHealth Daytona Beach CEO Ed Noseworthy. “That’s why we are so proud to have this pediatric ER and inpatient unit right here in Daytona Beach, to take care of children and their families all over east Volusia County.”
For Roberts, taking care of Colton was just what she does.
“One of my favorite parts of the job is to see a child who’s sick, and then you’re able to turn them around and you see them skipping out the door,” she said. “It’s so rewarding.”