September 28, 2023


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As Hospitals Close Children’s Units, Where Does That Leave Lachlan?

2 min read
As Hospitals Close Children’s Units, Where Does That Leave Lachlan?

Lachlan Rutledge, 6, has a connective tissue condition, significant allergy symptoms and asthma, which have landed him consistently in pediatric intense treatment.
Credit score: Melissa Lukenbaugh / The New York Moments

Damaged ARROW, OKLAHOMA — It was Lachlan Rutledge’s sixth birthday, but as he mustered a laborious breath and blew out just one candle, it was his mother who made a wish: for a pediatric clinic mattress in northeast Oklahoma.

The kindergartner has a connective tissue dysfunction, serious allergic reactions and bronchial asthma. Those people disorders regularly landed him in the pediatric intense treatment unit at Ascension St. John Clinical Centre in Tulsa, with collapsed veins and oxygen amounts so very low, he was unresponsive to his mother’s voice.

But in April the healthcare facility shut its children’s floor to make room for more adult beds. So on a September early morning, after coming down with Covid for the fourth time and with what seemed like bilateral pneumonia, Lachlan was having difficulties to breathe in an overcrowded unexpected emergency room at the Children’s Healthcare facility at Saint Francis — the only remaining […]

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