Grayson Cheatham

October 2013

Laurie and Michael Cheatham awoke one Saturday this spring to find their 3-year-old son, Grayson, unable to walk. “His leg was swollen, hard, and red around the area where he had received a vaccine injection the day before,” Laurie said. “If he put any pressure on the leg, he screamed. It was terrifying.”

Grayson had received the vaccine because he had been battling regular sinus infections. However, he was relatively fine on the day he received the shot, which is why his parents were so terrified when he had a 104.3 degree fever and a swollen leg the next morning.

Laurie called Grayson’s pediatrician’s office to find out what to do. The pediatrician advised her to monitor him closely and to take him to Children’s Medical Center Plano if his fever didn’t significantly reduce.

“That night, his fever dropped to around 102 but never went below 100 like we hoped,” Laurie said. “So, we took him to Children’s at Legacy the next morning. I was so scared. I had heard that high fevers could result in seizures or brain damage.”

From Fears to Cheers

The family’s fears were quickly allayed when they arrived at the Children’s at Legacy emergency department.

“As soon as we walked through the door, I just felt this overwhelming sense of security,” Laurie said. “I could tell immediately that every staff member there had been specially trained to work with children – the way they talked to Grayson and interacted with him. It was unlike any other hospital I had ever been to.”

Another aspect that encouraged Grayson’s parents was the thoroughness of the care team. Instead of being dismissive or ignoring their concerns, they laid out a plan to investigate every potential cause of his spontaneous illness.

“It was scary to see my baby undergo all of those tests,” Laurie said. “But every single nurse and technician and child life specialist had a different game he could play, and stickers – he got so many stickers – and they kept him distracted the entire time. He loved it.”

The tests fortunately revealed there were no long-term concerns. By Tuesday morning, he was walking and well enough to return home.

But after having so much fun at Children’s at Legacy, he didn’t want to leave. The next day, his grandmother jokingly asked him if he wanted to go back to the hospital.

“He leapt with joy and yelled, ‘Yea!’” Laurie said. “We just felt taken care of.”

In addition to celebrating the first 100 years of Children’s Medical Center in 2013, we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Children’s Medical Center Plano. Since 2008, Children’s at Legacy has provided world-class care to more than 130,000 children like Grayson Cheatham.


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