“She couldn’t wait to get back to her weekly riding lessons, especially now that the weather is warm.”
Tori, my 12-year-old daughter, missed the last week of school in February due to the flu.The following Monday—when we expected to resume our normal routines—she woke up complaining that her stomach hurt. I thought she might be trying to avoid school, so I gave her some ibuprofen and sent her off to class.
When I came home from work, she was still complaining on and off. After dinner, when her complaints continued but her demeanor changed, I realized she needed to see a doctor. As we drove to the Emergency Department at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, my medical background kicked in. I’m a nurse and a stickler about only using the ER for true emergencies. I didn’t think Tori’s situation was serious because she wasn’t doubled over in pain or crying. So, I turned the car around and headed instead to Northwestern Grayslake, where they deal with non-life-threatening health issues.
The emergency physician initially thought Tori might have an ovarian cyst that was causing her pain, but upon further reflection, the doctor ordered a CT scan to rule out a problem with her appendix. Sure enough, the scan revealed that Tori’s appendix was extremely swollen and at risk for rupture.
We were quickly transferred to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s Emergency Department. William Watson, MD, the surgeon on call, and Irina Trosman, MD, the pediatric hospitalist from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago who was working that day, determined that Tori’s situation needed immediate attention and rushed her to the operating room.
After the successful surgery, the doctor told me that we were lucky her appendix hadn’t ruptured. He explained that appendicitis most often affects people between the ages of 10 and 30, and it is one of the most common reasons for emergency abdominal surgery in children. Ironically, while we were there, six other children were recovering from appendicitis in the hospital, and the very next week Tori’s best friend developed the same symptoms, and had her appendix removed as well.
After two days in the hospital, Tori completed her recovery at home. In full, she missed three weeks of school. The whole family was happy when Tori got back on Ranger, the thoroughbred she rides, and returned to her normal activities of riding lessons, dance class and softball practice.
—As told by Tori’s mother, Mary
With more than 60 pediatric specialists from the community, as well as pediatricians from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago onsite 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital has earned its reputation as Lake County’s clear choice for pediatric care. These pediatric experts have focused knowledge to deliver advanced care for children in a convenient and compassionate environment. Starting with our state-of-the-art Level II+ Special Care Nursery for newborns, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s resources address a full range of medical and surgical needs for children of all ages, from infants to school children to teens.