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Spirited, Soothing Staff Quickly Tackles Appendicitis Attack

Children's Health
Author name: Lee Health


Logan Engler, 13, is currently recovering from a perforated appendix. He's back at home and expected to make a full recovery.

Don’t Delay Emergency Care When Your Child Needs It

When her son Logan, 13, complained of pain, Naples mom Melissa Engler took his concern seriously.

She called Logan’s physician but discovered there was a wait of several weeks to get an appointment. Instead, the family opted for the local emergency department.

“They knew it was appendicitis and called an ambulance to transport him to Golisano,” Engler said.

Once the ambulance arrived, Logan’s treatment started right away.

“They gave him a teddy bear and everyone was so nice,” Engler said. “Logan has autism so it was very scary. He was very nervous.”

Logan arrived at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, and staff prepared him for surgery. His appendix was perforated, which caused complications beyond a simple extraction.

However, pediatric general surgeon Damian Maxwell, M.D., was waiting for Logan and operated quickly.

“Perforated appendicitis is a serious condition and can be complicated by abscess formation, and the infection can spread to the blood stream and result in sepsis and death,” Dr. Maxwell said. “Seeking evaluation at a pediatric hospital is the most effective path to diagnosis and treatment of acute appendicitis by a host of pediatric specialists.”

Soothing Fears

Logan had the classic signs and symptoms of appendicitis, including pain around the belly button, fever, nausea and vomiting. He also experienced a loss of appetite, another common sign.

Because his appendix was perforated, his surgery took a more serious tone than just a simple extraction.

Fortunately, Logan’s life was not in danger, but he spent six days recovering at Golisano. Again, hospital staff allayed Melissa Engler’s fears.

“Because of COVID-19 I thought I wouldn’t be able to stay with him,” she said.

She was relieved to learn that a parent is allowed to stay with a child throughout his or her stay.

“I knew he was in good hands, but I knew I wanted to be there,” she said.

Getting care for appendicitis, and other childhood injuries and conditions, is vital, even during a pandemic.

“Acute appendicitis is the most common pediatric surgical emergency and we evaluate, diagnose and treat these patients daily, in a safe and compassionate way, making patient safety our top priority,” Dr. Maxwell said.

Logan has returned home and is on the way to a full recovery.

“He’s getting better every day,” Melissa Engler said. “We are so grateful.”

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