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A Two-Week Stay at the Hospital – May Has Been a Tough Month!

Wow, what a month it’s been! Some of you might remember that about 5 years ago my daughter Maggie had appendicitus. She spent two long weeks in the hospital.

Well, a bad appendix struck again at our home this month. This time it was our newly turned 4 year old son Killian.

At this point, I strongly suspect a genetic component that makes our kids more likely to have their appendix rupture and create an abcess, although I hope and pray that none of our other children have to go through this.

Killian, like Maggie, also had to spend 2 long weeks at the hospital. When we tell most people this, they are surprised because usually with appendicitis, you go in, get surgery, and are sent home after just a short time.

Ironically, one of our nurses told us that only about 10% of appendicitis cases in kids result in a two-week stay like this where kids have an abcess, require 10+ days of IV antibiotics, and having a drain surgically inserted to clear the abcess and that’s been the case with BOTH of our kids.

In Killian’s case, he will have to go BACK to the hospital again in a few weeks and have his appendix removed. (That’s right, he spent 2 weeks at the hospital and still came home with his appendix. Maggie’s appendix could not be seen in the CT scans and they theorize it basically exploded and her body reabsorbed it.)

We had to get the infection under control before they do the surgery. By getting rid of the infection, they will be able to go in laparoscopically to remove his appendix, rather than having to really cut him open. His recovery should be must fast with fewer complications this way.

It was a very hard 2 weeks for all of us. We are so thankful for family that helped to watch our other children while we were at the hospital with Killian.

Orin was at the hospital nearly the entire time and I drove back and forth most days, staying overnight a few times. Matthias is still breastfeeding a few times a day and before he sleeps, so that made it more difficult for me.

Killian was transferred via ambulance to a children’s hospital in DC, which, although still 90-120 minutes away depending on traffic, was still closer than where Maggie was transferred (nearly 3 hours away). For that we were very thankful!

Young boy riding on a stretcher in an ambulance.
Here’s Killian on his ambulance ride. I was able to ride with him.

Some people have asked me what the signs were with him. You can also read about the signs and symptoms when Maggie had appendicitus.

For Killian, it started with throwing up right at bedtime. A few of our other kids were sick with a virus at the same time, so we assumed he had what they had. A few were coughing, some complained of a sore throat, and one other child said they had a stomach ache.

The following night he was still not feeling well and cried out during his sleep at one point because his belly hurt. Having just gone through a stomach bug myself about 3 weeks before were the stomach cramps made me want to cry, again, we still figured it was a regular stomach virus.

However, by the following day when he seemed to be in pain walking, we knew he needed to be checked out.

A young boy laying in a hospital bed playing an alphabet game.

Things I Would Recommend Checking For When Appendicitus is Feared

First, I want to remind you that I am not a doctor. I am just offering my opinion on when you might want to consider taking your child to the ER to be checked for appendicitus.

  1. If they are in pain when walking.
  2. If they can’t jump without pain.
  3. If they are complaining of stomach pain for over 24 hours and don’t want to eat or drink.
  4. If they are walking funny.
  5. Any of the above symptoms are accompanied by a fever (even a low-grade one).
  6. Pain when pushing on the abdomen, especially in the middle or right side.
  7. Your intuition – don’t second guess yourself if you feel you need to be checked out.
  8. Our nurse told us that the most common age they see is 8-12 years, however, she said they have seen a baby as young as 16 months before. Don’t rule it out just because your child is young. Killian was definitely on the younger side.
  9. Lastly, if you are questioning it, just take your child in. Better safe than sorry.

How Killian is Doing

As I mentioned, Killian has just recently turned 4. In many ways, it was easier when Maggie had appendicitis because she was 8, almost 9, and could understand a bit better what was going on. Even though she didn’t like being in the hospital and all the pokes, she understood that it was necessary to save her life.

Killian on the other hand is just too young to really grasp the seriousness of appendicitis. In his mind, he had a bad stomach ache and should be able to rest and get over it at home like other times.

A young boy laying in a hospital bed playing with a marble track.

After 2 long weeks in the hospital, he is scared of anything related to medical care. Even something as simple as me trying to use baby oil to wipe the bandaid residue off of him causes a large amount of stress.

It was heartbreaking for my husband and I to have to see him go through this. And it’s even more heartbreaking to know we are going to have to take him back in a few weeks to have his appendix removed.

We aren’t sure exactly when he will be returning to have his appendix removed, (most likely within a few weeks) but I would sure appreciate it if you’d say a prayer for my little guy that the surgery would go well and that this wouldn’t lead to a large amount of new emotional trauma for my little guy.

Maria Egan

Friday 7th of June 2024

Having a sick child is difficult enough but having your child in the hospital for a serious illness must have been incredibly stressful. I am so glad that everything turned out well for you.


Thursday 30th of May 2024

Yes it is genetic,my husband had it and both of my son's had it , oldest son had it a teenager youngest one as an adult ,oldest son recovered with within a week , youngest son has special needs so it took him longer to recover,he stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks as well.


Wednesday 29th of May 2024

I'm so sorry you had to go through this! Appendicitis is no joke; every time our kids get the stomach flu it's in the back of my mind. I hope all goes well for his surgery and that he doesn't experience too much trauma <3 <3