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Nolan Schoenbachler

Age 3 | Trauma

Nolan Schoenbachler didn't like sitting still in an exersaucer. His parents had an old baby walker someone had given them, so they tried that and he was happy.

Usually, the doors leading to the stairs were closed to keep Nolan out of trouble, but on one fateful day they were left open. Before anyone could stop him, Nolan was headed down the stairs. At the bottom, his head hit a concrete wall.

Flown to Kosair Children's Hospital

His frantic parents rushed him to the local hospital in Southwest Indiana, where they were told he would probably be ok, and that he just hit his head. After insistence from Nolan's parents, the hospital tried to do a CT scan. They ran into problems strapping an infant on a CT board made for an adult. After making do, the hospital determined that Nolan had a serious problem and needed to be flown to Kosair Children's Hospital.

Nolan was taken straight to the hospital's emergency department, where he was immediately assessed by the trauma team. As one of more than 1,000 children who receive specialized trauma care at the hospital each year, Nolan was in the hands of the experts.

The Schoenbachlers were reassured - here was a place that knew how to take care of kids. The equipment was sized just for kids, and the staff was used to working with children - and their parents.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Moriarty was called in. From the time of the first CT at the other hospital to the time of the second at Kosair Children's Hospital, the bleeding in Nolan's brain was creating a large, dark cloud on the radiology films. Nolan needed immediate surgery to relieve pressure building from the severe bleeding into his brain. He was near death.

Surgery relieved the pressure on his brain, but the situation was grave: no one knew if Nolan would recover.

In the "Just for Kids" Critical Care Center on day following his surgery, Nolan was breathing on his own but could not move his left eye or arm. It was possible the injury had caused paralysis. However, these issues went away the next day. Another scare arose when Nolan spiked a fever and had fluid coming out of his ear. But with treatment, these issues, too, went away.

Within a week, Nolan was headed home.

Follow-up Visit

On a follow-up visit, Dr. Moriarty was thrilled with Nolan's progress, remarking that he was surprised there were no ill effects from what was such a potentially damaging head injury.

Today, Nolan is a happy, healthy, active 3-year-old whose parents are grateful that Kosair Children's Hospital is standing by to help children when they need it most.

Read Another Story

Thinking big for emergency situations:

More than 1,000 children are brought to the Kosair Children's Hospital Emergency Department each year in a trauma situation.

Your support of the Children's Hospital Foundation has allowed the hospital to purchase equipment ready to help diagnose and treat these children, such as portable X-ray equipment. Most people don't like to think about their child needing emergency or trauma care and thanks to the Children's Hospital Foundation and Kosair Children's Hospital, they don't have to. The hospital and its specialists are ready at a moment's notice.

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