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Arkansas Children’s Hospital Offers Excellent Care

Arkansas Children’s Hospital Offers Excellent Care

Editors note. This is first in a series of stories about area residents experiences at Arkansas Children’s Hospital that will run over the next six weeks leading up to the Charleston Music Fest that will be held at the Charleston Fairgrounds on April 5 from 3pm to 11pm. Proceeds from the Music fest will go to benefit Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

No one wants to have their child sent to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, but those who do are certainly very appreciative that Arkansas has such a facility.

Karl and Lacey Kennedy of Altus have been there twice with both of their children and said that both received excellent care. Their daughter Bailey, now 14, took the helicopter ride from Fort Smith to Little Rock shortly after she was born, after a potentially fatal heart defect was discovered. She received excellent life saving care from the staff at ACH, the Kennedy’s said.

Their son, Connor, now 11, was airlifted to AHC just before Christmas and just shy of his second birthday, on December 15, 2004, after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

But as usual Connor’s story doesn’t begin on that date, but several months earlier. He had been taken back and forth to the doctor and was being treated with antibiotics for an ear infection or some other common childhood infection.

His condition continued to get worse, however and after weeks of him getting sicker and sicker his parents took him to Fort Smith and checked in to the hospital determined not to leave until they knew what was wrong.

The next morning his doctor came in and informed them that their son had leukemia and the helicopter from ACH was on its way to get him. “We only had a few minutes to inform the family and make arrangements to get to the hospital in Little Rock,” the Kennedy’s said.

Once they arrived at ACH Connor was admitted to ICU and they were told he was basically in a comma like state.

They met with Dr. Becton (the hematologist that would care for Connor) and he explained Connor’s condition and treatment options.

Connor was quickly put into a treatment plan with cutting edge technology as high quality as he could get from any hospital in the country, they said.

Connor stayed in ICU for several days while he stabilized, then was move into 3 Gold the cancer treatment ward of the hospital, which would be his home for the following months.

“Dr. Becton and the other doctors and nurses on 3 Gold were excellent, they were very caring and always tended Connors needs.” We cannot say enough about the excellent care “we” received during Connors stay at ACH, they added. “Without a doubt we attribute the fact that Connor is still with us today to the incredible skill and determination of Dr. Becton, 3 Gold and the other staff at ACH.”