Mystery Solvers in Baton Rouge

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is providing specialized care to children from all over Louisiana. This is Theo’s story.

Theo rests comfortably.

One day at preschool, Theo Boersma just stopped crawling, which was unlike the active 18-month-old.

Concerned that his arm may been injured, his mom, a cardiac nurse, took him to the Emergency Department at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

After an overnight stay he went home, and in a few days he was crawling again and seemed fine.

But a week later, his dad John Boersma noticed Theo’s arm felt hot to the touch and was swollen and red. They took Theo back to the ER.

An infection was now raging inside of Theo’s bones. “His doctors and nurses were very positive and assured us he was going to be OK, and they were relentless in trying to solve it,” mom Jennifer said.

Theo was put on antibiotics and underwent the first of four surgeries — this one by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to clean out infection in his elbow.

However, infectious disease specialists on Theo’s team still had questions. They ordered an MRI, which revealed fluid buildup and signs of worsening infection. Further tests showed it was a bacteria called kingella, which causes infection in bones and can affect heart valves.

Treating Theo required collaboration among orthopedists, hospitalists, infectious disease specialists and physical therapy. In the end he made a full recovery.

“The nurses and doctors here truly are problem-solvers,” Jennifer said. “They just know how to pick apart a situation and figure out what is going wrong.”

Construction on the freestanding children’s hospital in Baton Rouge will be complete in 2019, but Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is already providing specialty care to more children from all over Louisiana thanks to our growing team of physician specialists and our expanding network of satellite clinics.

Erin Hauck, MD, a pediatric hospitalist who oversaw Theo’s care, said collaboration among specialists was key to Theo’s effective treatment and recovery. “His case demonstrates the effectiveness of utilizing all these specific services and specialties,” Dr. Hauck said.

Such collaboration can be vital in treating young children whose symptoms aren’t obvious and who cannot communicate specifically what they feel or where they hurt.

Click HERE to find a doctor at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health by name, specialty or ZIP code. Or, you can call call us at (225) 765-6565.