Twice the Care: Daughter and mother receive excellent care at N.C. Children's Hospital

The same day WakeMed Raleigh transferred 6-year-old Elexus to N.C. Children's Hospital for specialty care last October, her mother, Cherilyn, had chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Twice the Care: Daughter and mother receive excellent care at N.C. Children's Hospital

It was a Saturday night in early October of 2010. Six-year-old Elexus should have been fast asleep, but she was awake, complaining to her parents, Cherilyn and Errol, of horrible stomach pain. Later Elexus began to vomit. The vomiting continued through the night, prompting her parents to make an early morning trip to the emergency room at WakeMed, close to their home in Raleigh.

Elexus was admitted to WakeMed Children’s and then transferred by ambulance to N.C. Children’s Hospital the following day. She still couldn't keep anything down, so tests were inconclusive. The pediatric surgical
specialists at UNC did exploratory laparoscopic surgery and diagnosed Elexus with diverticulosis and a bowel obstruction, which was remedied during surgery.

Once Elexus was able to eat after her surgery, she was back to her talkative, vivacious self. She recovered so quickly, in fact, she was discharged home before the end of the week—just in time for her seventh birthday.

“The care and the love they gave us was what stands out most about our experience,” says mom, Cherilyn. “Everyone was very, very caring and loving.”

But Elexus wasn’t the only one in her family to have received excellent care at N.C. Children’s Hospital. Cherilyn was undergoing treatment for breast cancer at the time and had just had a round of chemotherapy the day Elexus fell ill.

“While I was not there as a patient, they treated me like a patient,” recalls Cherilyn. “They set up a bed for me in Elexus’ room and took care of me, too. I couldn't walk [because of the chemotherapy treatments], but I was able to be there with her, next to her, in a bed of my own the whole time."

Being able to be there with Elexus in their own private room was a big comfort to Cherilyn, especially since she often needed the assistance of a wheelchair to get around.

Cherilyn adds she really liked the convenience of taking Elexus to the Children’s Hospital’s multi-specialty outpatient clinic located on the Rex Healthcare campus for follow-up care. An extension of the outpatient clinic in Chapel Hill, the N.C. Children’s Specialty Clinic was developed specifically to serve patients in Wake and surrounding counties, as well as those living in the eastern half of the state.

“She received such excellent care there,” says Cherilyn of Elexus’ N.C. Children’s Hospital experience. “She would go back if she could!”

More about Elexus

Hometown: Raleigh, NC; Wake County — about 75 miles roundtrip
Diagnosis: Bowel obstruction
Primary pediatric specialties: General surgery; anesthesiology
Other pediatric specialty: Recreational therapy
Favorite caregivers: Stephanie and Danielle, nurses on 7 Children's
Dr. Kimberly Erickson, surgeon
Favorite thing about N.C. Children's Hospital: "The care team. Elexus had wonderful, wonderful nurses. They loved her to death. I’ve never seen anybody take care of someone like that. And they took excellent care not only of her but of me." ~ Elexus' mom, Cherilyn

General surgery at N.C. Children's Hospital

More than 5,000 children have surgery at N.C. Children's Hospital each year under the expert care of our Division of Pediatric Surgery. We recently gave our six-room pediatric operating suite a child-friendly facelift, adding whimsical murals to offer comfort and distraction for children anxious about surgery. In addition to being the most kid-friendly, this is the largest surgical space dedicated exclusively to children anywhere in North Carolina and is the only place in the state where a child is guaranteed to get a specialty-trained pediatric anesthesiologist. Learn more about pediatric surgery at UNC.

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