Like many typical 5-year-olds, Landon enjoyed playing with his buddies, swinging on swings and riding his bike. That was until a not-so-typical medical condition nearly took his life.
One spring day, Landon told his mom, Angie, that his stomach hurt. She thought it was the usual stomach virus that is always "going around."
The next day, his symptoms continued. Angie noticed his hands and feet were cold, his head felt clammy and he was extremely tired. "I decided it was time to take him to the doctor," said Angie. She called her husband Stacy, who said he would meet them at the doctor's office, and off they went.
The doctor diagnosed Landon with a stomach bug and slight dehydration, gave him medication for the nausea and sent him home. That evening, Landon became extremely ill. When Stacy heard Landon getting sick, he turned around, only to find his son unconscious.
An immediate call to 911 brought emergency medical services (EMS) to the house, where the EMS team performed CPR on Landon. They then took Landon to WakeMed, where a dedicated team of pediatric emergency specialists awaited his arrival in the Children's Emergency Department.
Landon's heart stopped three times - twice in the ambulance and once in the Children's Emergency Department. Alive but still unconscious, Landon was put into an induced coma in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
WakeMed physicians then implemented a special procedure seldom used on children - induced hypothermia. Pediatric heart specialists cooled Landon's body to 91.4 degrees to decrease the likelihood of neurological damage that can result from sudden cardiac arrest.
The next few days were tense, and Stacy and Angie stayed by Landon's side. They received reassurance that Landon was in the right place from a neurosurgeon friend and a Johns Hopkins pediatric cardiologist, who told them, "They are really doing cutting-edge things at WakeMed - procedures that aren't available at other hospitals. Landon is where he needs to be."
While still unconscious, Landon was diagnosed with Addison's disease, a rare endocrine disorder that is extremely uncommon in children.
When doctors brought Landon out of the coma, he quickly regained his strength, and, after 19 days at WakeMed, he returned home to a surprise party in his honor.
Thanks to faith, an amazing procedure and unsurpassed pediatric care and caring, Landon is now a typical 6-year-old.
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