Michiana boy with cancer not admitted to hospital right away

NOW: Michiana boy with cancer not admitted to hospital right away

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- 11-year-old, Jack Dorbin, was diagnosed with brain cancer back in May. Since then, he’s been in and out of Riley Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy, and soon will be moving to Chicago to continue radiation treatments. Along with dealing with the disease, Jack has other health complications which can require an immediate trip to the emergency room.

“It’s just so much,” Jack’s mom Shirley Dorbin said.

On Friday, Jack’s mother Shirley, was keeping a close eye on him because he wasn’t feeling well, and on Saturday morning, his temperature was dangerously high and she had to take him to memorial hospital for treatment.

Time is critical for his illness, and getting him there and admitted quickly is key. Even a 3-minute wait can be crucial for Jack. But he wasn’t allowed in right away, and had to wait in the car.

“You sit there and it’s the unknown. You know they’re going to do their best for you, but then you also hear they’re diverting patients to places and I’m like on my gosh what happens next,” Shirley said.

Shirley posted their experience to Facebook, which went viral.

“When I shared that photo, in that very moment, I didn’t know what was going to happen next. But I had faith that those doctors were going to help jack and they did but I also knew there was a danger in that delay,” Shirley said. “We were probably delayed a half hour at the most.”

She says doesn’t blame the hospital or staff for the chaos, though, because of all the hurdles they’re continuing to face because of the pandemic. Memorial Hospital’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Dale Patterson, telling ABC57, hospital numbers are spiking both at memorial and elsewhere.

“Health care workers are tired our resources are limited and we don’t have capabilities to take care of large numbers of patients that we saw in November and December,” Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Dale Patterson said.

Shirley says she understands why some people aren’t getting vaccinated, but believes if more people rolled on their sleeves, kids like Jack, won’t have to wait for care as often.

“I get people not wanting to do a vaccine but I have a little boy who goes into the hospital every few weeks and is pumped full of poison,” Shirley said. “Maybe you don’t do it for yourself maybe you do it for people you work with, maybe for older people, right now do it for kids.”

ABC57 asked Beacon Health for comment on this specific incident with Jack, but we’re told they can’t speak on it due to privacy reasons.

We also reached out to several other hospitals locally to find out just what kind of patient influx they’re dealing with. St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Genevieve Lankowicz provided a statement:

"Saint Joseph Health System has experienced a significant increase in COVID-19 patient admissions. The number has doubled during the last week to 29 patients on August 24. The increased number of COVID patients presenting for evaluation to emergency departments and outpatient offices, in combination with other causes for increased patient care needs is straining our regional health care system. Patients are experiencing increased wait times for care. We need the community's help to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure all aspects of the care we provide continues at the highest level. The FDA fully approved the Pfizer vaccine on Monday and vaccines continue to be the best way to protect yourself and prevent serious illness."

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