'Mom, I can't get my heart to stop'

As told by Christine Henson RN, BSN, CDE

My 5-year-old son, Aaron, woke me in the middle of the night complaining about his heart. I leaned over to feel his chest and was quickly on my feet, wide awake, when I realized his heart was racing. My healthy son's heart raced more than 200 beats a minutes and then very quickly dipped to about 50 bpm before returning to normal. He told me it had happened before.

I called his pediatrician Dr. Rajiv Naik and he offered to see us at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. After Dr. Naik looked at Aaron's EKG, he felt a visit with a pediatric cardiologist was in order. Within 48 hours, we were meeting with physician assistant Andrea Winters, PA-C, and pediatric cardiologist Dr. Susan MacLellan. Andrea explained she suspected Aaron had supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) caused by faulty electrical impulses in his heart.

By the time we left the appointment, I was reassured and all my questions were answered. Andrea recommended mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry (MCOT)-new technology that would provide an ongoing record of my son's heart activity. Aaron would wear it for a month to capture any issues he was having with his heart.

Aaron quickly adapted to wearing leads and the MCOT. I placed a sticker of Ben 10-one of his favorite cartoon heroes-on the unit and told him he could transform, like Ben 10, into any alien that he wanted. He suddenly had super powers even a fast heart rate couldn't stop!

As I informed the small army of people in my son’s life what to do to troubleshoot alarms and replace leads, I was amazed by the positive remarks I was getting about his medical team. The school nurse, his dentist, his daycare providers had all worked with the Pediatric Cardiology team, and reassured me that Aaron was getting the best care possible.

There were so many within the Gundersen "family" that have been amazingly helpful-Dr. Naik and his nurse arranging to see us so urgently, the Health Plan's quickly approving all the needed tests, my manager allowing me flexibility to attend appointments, the medical assistant in Andrea's office providing toys to distract Aaron and so many others.

Thank you Gundersen for not only providing the newest in technology, but providing it with a caring heart.

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