If a child is ill or in need of emergency care, it is good to know that an award-winning health facility is nearby. No parent is truly prepared for an unexpected illness or emergency that affects their child. No child is prepared for the fear and pain accompanying a health scare.

Just ask 11-year-old Catherine Crandell. The Pearson Middle School student never expected to be in the emergency room. She had undergone a non-emergency surgery earlier at Children’s Health Specialty Center Plano, and was home recovering when she developed acute pain. Mom, Holly McKay, knew something was wrong and called the doctor’s office, but it was after-hours and no one was there. Then, her phone rang. “It was the doctor calling me from a restaurant where he was with his family,” said Holly. “He advised me to meet him at the emergency room.”

The staff was waiting for Holly and Catherine when they arrived. Holly recalls, “The nurses were welcoming and calm, which really helped us calm down. We were taken right back to an exam room.”

The nurses and doctor discovered that a blood clot may have developed and Catherine was to be transported to the Dallas campus. The idea of yet another surgery was very frightening for both Catherine and her mother.

“But our doctor was wonderful,” said Holly of Dr. Robert Minkes. “He talked directly to Catherine and calmed her fears. The transport team explained everything they were going to do before they did it and they talked to my daughter, not just to me. They were patient and aware that for us, this was not a normal everyday event and Catherine was really panicking, but her safety and state-of-mind was their priority.”

Everything went well and Catherine recovered fully. A once scary situation is now a positive recollection for this family. They are able to laugh about the stuffed animal collection that Catherine amassed as a patient. She even took part in the Children’s Health Holiday parade last December. Holly is grateful that her daughter was shown such warm care and added, “they took care of me, too.”

Catherine rode in the 28th Annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade in downtown Dallas.

A team of caring professionals doesn’t just happen by accident. Recognizing this, The Leapfrog Group recently named Children’s Health Specialty Center Plano to their list of top hospitals for a second straight year. This award recognizes Children’s commitment to providing the safest, highest quality of health care.

Children’s Health is the seventh largest pediatric health care provider in the nation and the leading pediatric healthcare system in North Texas, providing a full spectrum of healthcare services from daily wellness and primary care to specialty visits and critical care.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2000, driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care.

Debbie Weinbel is a volunteer at Children’s Health Center Plano and a writer for Give Back Collin County.

Debbie Weinbel

Debbie Weinbel is a newer resident to north Texas and loves it. Her background includes lots of freelance writing, communications and event planning. When not writing, she stays busy with her three boys...