Jeremiah's Urology StoryJun 6, 2019
Specialized urological care saves 3-year-old boy's life
Jeremiah Thomas, urology patient, Palm Beach Children's Hospital at St. Mary's
As a teacher and mother of three, living a hectic, fast paced life is nothing new to Allyson Thomas. But when her son, Jeremiah, became sick just before his third birthday, she knew it was time to press pause.
"I took him to his pediatrician who said he had a gastrointestinal bug that would go away on its own," Allyson remembers. "As a mom, I know when there's something wrong with my kids, and I had a gut feeling that this was more than just a bug."
A few days later, Jeremiah stopped urinating and couldn't keep food down. Jan rushed him to the emergency room. The doctors told her his kidneys were shutting down due to a bowel infection that spread into his blood. Allyson was understandably terrified.
"My little boy, who normally looked so full of life and energy, was ghostly pale, and his fever was off the charts," she remembers. "He laid there helpless, and there was nothing I could do to ease his pain."
The right hospital at the right time
Jeremiah was diagnosed with a disease called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and was transferred to Palm Beach Children's Hospital. It's one of the few hospitals in Florida equipped to handle chronic hemodialysis in pediatric patients.
When they arrived, Allyson and her family met pediatric nephrologist Dr. Omer Mansoor.
"I instantly knew we were in good hands," Allyson recalls. "He was very knowledgeable about my son's disease and assured us that he would be okay."
Instead of putting Jeremiah on dialysis right away, Dr. Mansoor tried diuretics to help rid his body of excess fluids. When he still didn't produce enough urine, dialysis was the only option.
"His body was filled with fluid and so swollen," says Allyson. "I'll never forget how frightening it was to see my baby that way. His body weight kept going up, so they had to put a catheter in his leg to take the blood out."
From healing to home
Jeremiah stayed at Palm Beach Children's Hospital for almost a month. At first he was on dialysis every day for hours at a time, and then every other day as his kidneys started to recover. After a few weeks, he was taken off dialysis completely.
"His kidneys finally started producing urine again; I've never felt so excited to see pee in my life!" Allyson says, laughing.
Jeremiah continues to improve and is expected to make a full recovery. Jan can't say enough about how well taken care of she felt while her son was getting well.
"Dr. Mansoor was a consistent presence throughout my son's entire hospital stay. He monitored his dialysis and checked on him daily," she says.
"My family and I are forever grateful for him and the entire staff at Palm Beach Children's Hospital. They helped save my son's life and turn him back into my happy, go-lucky little boy."