Any time a child has difficulty breathing, immediate care and attention become the priority, especially in children as young as 3-month-old Kolt Huff.
Kolt lives with his family on a farm in Darrow, a rural community on the east shore of the Mississippi River just a few miles north of the Sunshine Bridge.
For months, Kolt had been sick off and on, said his mother, Kelsey Huff.
On this day, she’d taken Kolt’s 17-month-old older brother to their pediatrician in Prairieville. Doctors there diagnosed him with a common, highly contagious respiratory infection called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
That afternoon, Kelsey returned to her pediatrician’s office to have Kolt checked for it. “It might explain why he’d been so sick,” she said.
Doctors took a swab and confirmed Kolt had RSV as well. But they noticed something more alarming: Kolt was breathing more rapidly than he should.
So, the clinic called 9-1-1 to have Kolt and Kelsey transported by ambulance to the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.
Using specialized equipment designed and sized for infants, the ER nurses quickly checked Kolt’s vital signs. Staff physician Clayton Kleinpeter, MD, examined him and determined that, although he was breathing quickly, Kolt’s breathing wasn’t overly labored.
“We were lucky really. They monitored him for a few hours, they suctioned out his nose, but he didn’t have to go on liquids or anything,” Kelsey said.
Back at home a few weeks later, Kolt fully recovered from his RSV and is a happy baby. “I know the nurses went above and beyond to help us because my husband was at work so it was just me and baby,” Kelsey said. “I thought they were great; I was very impressed.”