Despite doctors’ reassurances, Angelica Hale’s parents knew something was wrong. Their normally vivacious little girl was in pain and getting sicker. They took her to the Emergency Department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and learned her condition was more serious than they could have imagined.
“My wife called me the next morning and told me they were already starting surgery to put in a chest tube,” said James Hale, Angelica’s father. “It was nothing but bad news.”
James and his wife, Eva Norman, learned that their daughter had pneumonia. The infection was so severe that her lung had begun to bleed into her abdomen. The 5-year-old developed sepsis, a serious blood infection that devastated her kidneys.
“Her blood plasma was polluted, and her lungs were just ravaged,” Angelica’s dad said. “It was earth shattering. We were rocked.”
Angelica was admitted to our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where her healthcare team worked for three days to stabilize her and fight the infection. James credits neonatologist Munir Kapasi, M.D., with saving Angelica’s life during those chaotic first days.