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Voice of the Patient - Abigail Taylor

Dr. Michael Beaulieu, Abigail Taylor, and Jackie Donovan, FNP sit together

Some call it a mother’s intuition, however you refer to it, as a parent, you know when something isn’t right with your child. For Amber Taylor, when her nine-year-old daughter’s foot became so swollen and tight she couldn’t walk on it, she needed answers and found them at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital.   

It started Sunday, April 1st with a walk-in appointment at the Gibson Family Health Clinic inside Helen Newberry Joy Hospital. Amber’s daughter Abigail had some pain at the bottom of her foot with swelling they believed was due to a splinter. She was diagnosed and immediately treated for cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin. Typical skin injuries such as cuts, insect bites, or surgical incisions are common sites of the infection. After four days, the infection wasn’t getting better, so Amber brought Abigail back into the Gibson Family Health Clinic where she was treated by Michael Beaulieu, MD and Jackie Donovan, FNP. It was their recommendation Abigail see an orthopedic pediatric doctor and instructed the family to head to the emergency department at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey to see a specialist there. 

Immediately, they drove to Petoskey where an x-ray was completed. Nothing was visible inside her foot to cause the infection. She was given a higher dose of antibiotics and sent home on crutches. They instructed Amber to follow up with a primary care provider in the following days. Amber knew something still wasn’t right, and the infection wasn’t getting better. She called the Gibson Family Health Clinic and was seen immediately. Cathy Berry, LPN was the first to examine Abigail. “Cathy was very understanding that we wanted answers and was going to do whatever she could to help us get them,” acknowledged Amber. Next, Michael Beaulieu, MD and Jackie Donovan, FNP examined her foot. Recognizing how bad the infection was and suspecting something was inside her foot, Dr. Beaulieu asked if he could cut it open. Knowing the pain her daughter had been in, she agreed, and that was when a piece of wood nearly three inches long was removed from her foot. After a couple of stitches, Abigail was on her way with a lot less pain and a souvenir of the experience. “They let me keep the splinter,” she said. 

Through it all, Amber was thankful for the care her daughter received at the Gibson Family Health Clinic. “Because of the friendly faces, we felt at ease each time we were there. The staff made sure we were seen right away and took great care of my daughter,” remarked Taylor. She especially appreciated the communication, “Even as a same-day appointment, all of her medical information was right there for the provider to see.” The combination of a mother’s intuition and quality care at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital was just the prescription Abigail needed to get her running and playing again.