NHRMC Was There With Lifesaving Care, Compassion for Baby and Family

Mom Grateful for NHRMC

When baby Rowan suffered an emergency, NHRMC staff was there with excellent, compassionate care.


Vivian Cook says there was nothing out of the ordinary about 18-month-old Rowan except that she seemed very drowsy.

"I thought she was just coming down with a cold. She was sweaty, so I took her temperature."

But the thermometer didn't show an elevated temperature. In fact, several readings on different thermometers were in the 97-degree range.

"I remember thinking it was weird. She was prone to ear infections, so I called her pediatrician and left a message for the after-hours nurse."

While waiting for a call back, Vivian continued to get ready for work and planned to call the doctor on the way. She also noticed that Rowan was still sleeping and was very difficult to wake.

"Something made me call VitaLine. The nurse suggested I bring her into the Emergency Department since she was so little."

Rowan BHC Playroom

Vivian called her husband, Brendan, and asked him to meet her there. They arrived at the hospital at almost the same time.

"We checked her in, and nothing seemed overly alarming. We were triaged quickly and then moved into a room. Everyone seemed to think she was just coming down with something."

Once she was examined, things changed.

"A nurse tried to take her temperature, tried again, then left to get another thermometer because she thought the one in the room wasn’t working."

When they finally got a reading, Rowan's temperature was 94 degrees and her blood sugar was just 40. She had hypothermia and hypoglycemia, both of which are medical emergencies.

"Things started moving really fast at that point," said Vivian.

Without much to go on, and with no obvious reason for her symptoms, the staff worked to stabilize Rowan. They decided that she needed to be admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 

"That was when I broke down. We didn't know what was happening to Rowan, or why. We just knew it was bad."

Vivian and Brendan met David Smith, MD, the pediatric intensivist on duty.

"Dr. Smith immediately put us at ease. He talked through things with us and encouraged us to ask questions. He told us he didn't know exactly what was going on, but he was going to do his best to figure it out."

Rowan was admitted to the PICU for testing and placed on medications to stabilize her blood sugar. Later that night, she started to look better.

Her parents credit the staff at NHRMC with saving their daughter's life.

"Rowan got excellent medical care, but it was so much more. Every person we met that day took care of all of us. Whether it was reassuring us that we had probably saved her life by bringing her in quickly, making sure we got something to eat, or even just offering a hug, everyone knew exactly what we needed."

The following day – the day before Mother's Day – Rowan was well enough to go home.

Rowan was referred to the Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinics and has been carefully monitored. She has not had another episode like the one that sent her to the PICU.

"She's healthy and happy. We're grateful to have this wonderful facility in our community. Without them, I think we could have had a very different ending."