“Dr. White and Cassidy – they saved my daughter’s life.”
Jenny Seppelt was pleased with the care that the staff and doctors at Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics provided to her first child Julian, a healthy boy. But she learned just how fortunate she was to have Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics taking care of her children when her second child was born. When little Nathalie was born in 2009, RMYC pediatrician Dr. Kim White was assigned to her care. Within the first week, Dr. White quickly recognized that Nathalie was losing too much weight and was struggling with certain muscle functions, so she sent the baby to Children’s Hospital for tests and treatment. After a week at Children’s Hospital, Dr. White and Physician Assistant Cassidy Hogan identified further problems, which turned out to be life-threatening. Little Nathalie was aspirating. Everything she ate was going into her lungs instead of her stomach. This required a second hospital stay and surgery. But her health still did not improve. At about a month old, Nathalie weighed just five pounds and showed excessive weakness. Cassidy and Dr. White suspected an issue with the lungs and sent her immediately for a lung x-ray. The scan showed that one of Nathalie’s lungs had collapsed, necessitating a rushed trip by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. The situation was grave, but was caught in the nick of time.
“The people at Children’s Hospital told me how lucky we were to catch the collapsed lung when we did, and that we had a good doctor,” Jenny said, choking up. “Dr. White and Cassidy – they saved my daughter’s life.”
The third hospital stay lasted three weeks and the doctors inserted a feeding tube into the baby’s body, which would stay for three years. Jenny recalls months of worry and confusion about all her daughter’s health and the procedures and treatments. She said Dr. White and Cassidy worked to keep her calm throughout the process. The Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics staff coordinated with all the specialists, technicians and therapists and supported Jenny through many days and nights of panic and stress.
“I was new to all of this, so I was paranoid about every single thing. I was calling them every single day. I did that for a couple of months. They would always call me back and not show any frustration. They were there for the both of us,” Jenny said. “The doctors at Children’s were telling me awful things and Dr. White tried more to comfort me and not to scare me like the other doctors.”
Nathalie’s first two years were a blur of doctor’s appointments and therapy appointments, including weekly visits to Dr. White or Cassidy. The family lives in Aurora but traveled to downtown Denver to see Dr. White, even though they could find a doctor closer to their house.
“It’s a 45-minute drive but it’s worth it to me because I trust them. They care. They know my kids. I think they care about my kids just as much as I do, to be honest with you.”
Now, Nathalie is a healthy 5-year old and she has a 1-year-old brother, a healthy boy named Michael. After Michael was born, Jenny suffered from post-partum depression and Dr. White and Cassidy supported her, helping her get the help she needed. She knows she can call Dr. White or Cassidy anytime and they will call her back and diligently follow up on any issues. “I won’t go anywhere else.”