10-Year-Old Bergen Calls Nurse Mary His Personal Healthcare Hero

10-Year-Old Bergen Calls Nurse Mary His Personal Healthcare Hero

Bloody noses seem to go hand-in-hand with little boys. However, over the years, Bergen’s bloody noses seemed to get worse and worse, often accompanied with fainting from the blood loss.

In February 2021, Bergen experienced a bloody nose so bad that his mom drove him immediately to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health. Taking Bergen to the state’s only dedicated pediatric emergency room would soon prove a very critical decision.

“I had taken Bergen to a lot of doctors over the years, without a lot of answers or relief,” said Jessica Elliott, Bergen’s mom. “Our first visit to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital was to the emergency room, and I soon learned this is exactly where we needed to be.”

The emergency room at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is staffed by pediatric emergency medicine specialists who work collaboratively with specialists across all pediatric disciplines. Because of this extra comprehensiveness, the emergency medicine pediatrician in charge of Bergen’s care that day knew something was off. He made the decision to run extra tests and ended up finding something in Bergen’s lab work that indicated a blood disorder.

Additional testing with Osman Khan, M.D., pediatric hematologist at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Jimmy Everest Center led to Bergen’s factor 9 hemophilia diagnosis. This diagnosis means that his blood doesn’t clot properly which can cause severe internal and external bleeding.

“As soon as we received this diagnosis, my instinct was to put him in a bubble,” said Jessica. “It was so hard to battle wanting to keep him safe while also letting him be a 9-year-old boy.”

Bergen began a regime of weekly infusions with a drug that gives his blood the clotting factor needed to prevent serious injury. These weekly visits were not easy at first, as regular infusions can be a scary experience for anyone, let alone a 9-year-old.

However, through the compassionate and supportive care of his healthcare team at Jimmy Everest Center, Bergen developed the confidence he needed to receive his regular treatments with a smile.

“His entire team, including the physician, nurses and child life therapists, but especially Nurse Mary, were incredibly patient and kind as they helped Bergen understand and become comfortable with his treatments,” said Jessica.

Meet Nurse Mary

Fondly called “Nurse Mary” by Bergen and his family, Mary has been a nurse with the Jimmy Everest Center since 2018. As Bergen’s dedicated nurse, she helps him with his infusions in the clinic and also through the Factor At Home Program, where she is able to travel to Bergen’s school or home to administer his infusions in a more comfortable and convenient setting.

“I can tell that Nurse Mary really cares about all of her patients, not just me,” Bergen said. “She wants us all to stay healthy and safe.”

Nurses like Mary are what makes Oklahoma Children’s Hospital such a special place. Over the last two years, healthcare heroes have been challenged in unexpected ways as the pandemic tore through hospitals across the world. However, the team at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital never lost sight of their ultimate goal – to take care of kids when they need it most.

“We are so thankful for the wonderful team at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital,” said Jessica. “Simply put, they are the best.”

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