When Kausha Bakk thinks back two years, she remembers 10 skin creams, oral steroid medication, raw skin, staph infections — and a miserable little boy. Her son Haden was suffering from eczema that would cause him to itch so much that he would bleed through his clothes and could not sleep through the night.
“We had no normal family life,” Kausha recalls. “Our days revolved around how Haden felt.”
Haden had suffered from eczema since he was 6 weeks old and was later diagnosed with peanut allergies and asthma. Additionally, his adrenal glands were not functioning. These glands release hormones into the blood system and are important in many body processes.
“The oral steroid was just covering up his asthma and the fact that his adrenal glands were not functioning,” she says. “I couldn’t take it anymore.”
She had heard of National Jewish Health in Denver and its expertise in treating patients like Haden. “I got online and made an appointment,” Kausha says.
When Haden was 3 years old, the Bakks traveled to National Jewish Health. They were thrilled with the level of care they received from a team of doctors who were focused on Haden’s – and the family’s – wellbeing. Mark Boguniewicz, MD, and Jordan Abbott, MD, led Haden’s care.
“The incredible team at the pediatric unit showed us how to care for his skin and how his asthma could be controlled. The doctors prescribed different steroids that were easier to tolerate,” she says. “They taught us how to educate others and allow Haden to leave his bubble, even with a peanut allergy.”
The Bakks are back home, and Haden’s conditions are under control and his skin is clear. Their doctors in North Dakota continue to collaborate with doctors at National Jewish Health when needed.
Now the family is busy trying to keep up with Haden, who loves to run around outside and recently started playing hockey.
“Haden tells me that every day is the greatest day of his life, and I have to agree,” says Kausha. “Like the sign outside National Jewish Health says, ‘You only pass through once, make it count.’”
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