At two years old Gus is a busy little boy. He likes to move and play and say hi to his older sister, Gwen’s, friends at school. Meghan Stegman, Gus’s mom, is so excited to see her boy grow even though sometimes he stumbles. At one point in time, she wasn’t sure they would ever see him being an active kid and playing and being a happy little boy.
Gus was born on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. On Thursday after taking their baby boy home Meghan and Tanner realized that he was more lethargic than a newborn usually is. Meghan could feel something was wrong, she told Tanner that they needed to get Gus to the hospital.
“It was very scary,” says Meghan. “He was so lethargic and wasn’t eating for me like he had been before we left the hospital. Before we got to the ER the area around his lips started turning a little blue.”
When they got to the ER the doctors and nurses did a complete workup of labs and tests. Immediate results showed that Gus’s blood sugar level was extremely low. Once they saw that, everything started moving very quickly.
“Through the whole ER visit the team kept telling us what was going on,” says Meghan. “Everybody there worked really well together. Everything that Gus needed was urgent. There must have been more than 10 staff including people from the NICU in there, and it was very hectic. They were going as quickly as possible but still were able to tell us and prepare us for what was going to happen next. They told us to be near him and talk to him. We could have been minutes away from losing him but because they moved so quickly, they saved his life, everybody played a critical role that day.”
Dr. Aubergine was the doctor who helped the Stegman’s through that night and even after they were transported for more specialized care, he continued to check on them.
“Hearing that Dr. Aubergine called to check in on Gus while he was in the NICU at the U of M was amazing to hear,” says Meghan. “That was exceptional care, and something we will never forget. Dr. Aubergine gave me a hug before Gus was transported and told me from one parent to another to not stop fighting until we had answers, and that was very encouraging to hear from a doctor.”
After months of doctor visits and testing, specialists were finally able to pinpoint a diagnosis for some of Gus’s symptoms.
“When he was about seven months old, he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency and ketotic hypoglycemia and he also got diagnosed with epilepsy around that time,” explains Meghan. “We are still trying to figure out the root of the epilepsy at this time and will continue testing as needed. Our main goal right now is keeping him healthy, which is so important to maintain good blood sugars and to stay seizure free. We are so happy that he has just celebrated being one-year seizure free.”
The Stegmans are grateful for the care they received that night and the care they continue to receive from the ER staff and various other teams around Altru and the U of M, including pediatric therapies, pediatric neurology and pediatric endocrinology.
“Everyone from the nurses to the doctors to the ambulance staff worked so quickly and did everything in their power and they saved his life,” says Meghan. “We have probably seen most of the people who work in the ER, we’ve used the ambulances and even Altru Care Flight and have worked with a lot of different areas within Altru and every one of them has not been forgotten. We are very thankful for everybody.”
To show their gratefulness the Stegmans brought treats to the ER team and other Altru staff on Gus’s one-year anniversary without seizures and they were thankful to be able to speak with Dr. Aubergine.
“Supporting Gus and his family during such a critical life event meant the world to me,” says Dr. Aubergine. “It is a relationship that I will always cherish, and it was a privilege to care for him. I deeply value the work that I do, and I am beyond grateful to be a member of the Altru Emergency Department and help serve this incredible community.”
“We never stop thinking about that day and to hear that Dr. Aubergine thinks about that day too, I think that was a really tough day for everybody there,” says Meghan. “That was the scariest night of our lives, and I think as someone who is not in the healthcare field, we forget the impact that something like that can have on them too. That might have been one of the toughest days of their career and they were just as worried as we were that night. I would just like to say thank you for their quick thinking and support and encouragement throughout the whole thing and throughout the last two and a half years.”