Meet Sabrina. In July 2018, Sabrina went along with her mom Josefina Rodriguez for her 4 y/o wellness exam. Sabrina has been coming to the Care-A-Van since 2015. She and her family speak very little English, so the Care-A-Van offers them access to not only health care, but the ability to communicate concerns for their child easily since all of our providers are also fluent in Spanish. After meeting this young vibrant child, something started to trouble Karina, our Care-A-Van provider. In reviewing past wellness exams and other visits over the last few months she noted, that although Sabrina’s height remained around the 80th percentile, her weight had risen to the 90th percentile and had steadily been increasing. After discussing her eating habits, her mother was also concerned with her increasing weight. She felt that her daughter was not eating a substantial amount of food and yet she continued gain weight rather quickly. Josefina wanted to know what she could do to help her. Karina decided to look further into why she was gaining weight to see if there could possibly be another cause.
Karina started with basic labs and what she found was rather alarming. Sabrina’s TSH level was extremely elevated – 64.45 to be exact, when the normal range is below 6. Sabrina’s TSH was more than 10 times the normal level. Sabrina had low to no thyroid hormone, also known as hypothyroidism. The same day Karina received the results of Sabrina’s test, she was able to coordinate with the on call pediatric endocrinologist at Dell Children’s Medical Center and Sabrina was immediately started on a treatment plan. Sabrina was able to continue seeing these specialists while her medical teams searched for an underlying cause.
Hypothyroidism in children can have harmful effects on growth, pubertal development, and school performance. Sabrina was constantly feeling tired, weak and in pain, but before her visit to the Care-A-Van, she was not receiving the help she so desperately needed.
With the help of the specialists at Dell Children’s, Sabrina and Josefina found out that the cause of Sabrina’s hypothyroidism was an autoimmune disorder. Fortunately for Sabrina and her family, she is now receiving the proper treatment that will allow Sabrina to develop and grow into a healthy young lady. For families like Sabrina’s these basic tests would have costs hundreds of dollars, which may have been beyond their means. Sabrina could have gone years without treatment, resulting in a very different outcome.
Our mission is to serve this community by providing health care needs for children that otherwise would not be possible due to lack of resources. Sabrina’s life will forever be changed because she had access to high-quality, patient-centered care.
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