My Gillette Story by Emilie Anderson, Nolan’s Mom
Nolan is our 6-year-old energizer bunny. He is outgoing, loving and has as much energy as 10 people. His big blue eyes instantly draw you in and his enduring personality ensures that people remember Nolan long after he leaves a room.
A couple of years ago Nolan started having behavioral issues paired with leg and back pain. After being pushed from one doctor to another, none of whom could find anything wrong with Nolan, I finally asked for a referral to see a neurologist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. We were referred to Jennifer Maytum, a pediatric nurse practitioner specializing in neurology.
Jennifer was amazing. I cried as I told her of our year-long struggle, and that I knew something was wrong with my child, but that no one would listen. She said she would listen and she did. She scheduled Nolan to have a sleep study and an MRI which showed that he had Chiari Malformation and a tethered spinal cord. Finally an answer was found for my child!
Following that appointment, we received a referral to Dr. Peter Kim, a pediatric neurosurgeon who has been my son’s life saver. This past December, he operated on Nolan and released his tethered spinal cord and performed posterior fossa decompression surgery for Nolan’s Chiari Malformation. About a week after the surgery Nolan developed hydrocephalus. Dr. Kim immediately implanted a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to save his life.
Dr. Kim has been nothing but the best, and I wouldn’t trust my child with anyone but him and the Gillette Children’s team! I thank God every day that places like this exist for sick kids and their families. We are so lucky to live close to a facility as amazing as Gillette that makes these terrifying experiences a little easier to live through. Everyone from the front desk staff to the nurses to the surgeons to the people that work at the coffee shop are all absolutely wonderful.
My favorite memory from Gillette is all the alone time I got to spend with Nolan and all the fun and snuggles we got to share. The nurses and doctors at Gillette make it possible for you as a parent to totally be there for your child. You don’t have to worry about anything, and they make it so you are able to do everything you need to make your child happy and comfortable.
We are so proud of Nolan. He has taken this all in stride and has kept his head up and his personality through all of it. He never let any of this slow him down and he gets stronger every day!