Second doctor opinion could save your kid's life

April 30, 2012 4:51:40 PM PDT
When a child complains of having pain, sometimes parents and doctors don't take it seriously. But they should. Texas Children's Hospital doctors say 25 percent of the children end up having a different medical problem than the one they thought they had. One little girl's life was saved because her parents got a second opinion.

Five-year-old Maiya Jones is back to school enjoying recess, and that's a testament to her parents, who did not listen to her doctor.

"She would come and tell us that her chest was hurting," said Maiya's father, Cedrick Jones said.

"We took her to a doctor and they checked her out, said everything was fine. And then it happened again around December," her mother, Tanya Jones said.

They made four visits to the pediatrician and one to the ophthalmologist.

"The doctors are listening, saying they didn't hear anything and everything's fine; however chest pain isn't fine," Cedrick said.

So they took her to another pediatrician.

"Did a chest X-ray and when the results came back, he immediately sent us to Texas Children's," Tanya said.

Maiya had a tumor the size of a grapefruit that was pushing against her aorta.

"The tumor came right out, we were able to lift it off the aorta, which was one of the most challenging parts of the procedure," said Texas Children's Hospital pediatric surgeon Dr. Eugene Kim.

Dr. Kim said fortunately the tumor wasn't cancer. But it was so big, a small part was left in the spinal chord. He thinks it will disappear on its own.

Maiya's parents encourage other parents to follow their instincts, even when it's hard to go up against your doctor.

"We knew that it was serious, that she wasn't pretending," Tanya said.

Maiya's story reminds us that parents know their child better than anyone else. And they know when something is wrong, so listen to those instincts and listen to your child. And if you don't get answers, get another opinion.

Maiya's parents say they are grateful the tumor wasn't cancer, and that she got such good treatment at Texas Children's.


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