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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

How Maria Fareri Children's Hospital Helped a Patient Overcome the Odds When Infection Struck

Posted By: Advancing Care

Chase Pultz may appear to be an ordinary eight-year-old boy who enjoys swimming, playing video games and spending time with his big brother. But a sudden health scare landed Pultz in the hospital, taking him and his family on an extraordinary two-month healthcare journey with many highs and lows. Thanks to the skilled medical professionals at WMCHealth’s MidHudson Regional Hospital and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Pultz’s story has a happy ending. 

Chase Pultz attends a Hudson Valley Renegades baseball game following his recovery.

It was a late spring day like any other when Pultz returned home from school feeling unwell, complaining of a headache and stomach pain. Initially dismissed as a common stomach bug, his condition took a turn for the worse when his fever spiked and his face swelled. Pultz’s mother Jeanine rushed him to MidHudson Regional Hospital, where he was swiftly evaluated and diagnosed with a severe sinus infection. Pultz was then transferred to Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.

What followed was every parent's worst nightmare. Pultz's condition continued to deteriorate, leaving his mother deeply concerned. Shortly after Pultz’s arrival at the hospital, his doctor ordered an urgent MRI. The results revealed an aggressive and fast-spreading sinus infection that required immediate surgical intervention. 

A team of three surgeons — each of whom specializes in neurosurgery; infectious diseases; and ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions, respectively — performed a four-hour operation on Pultz. Throughout the procedure, the care team at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital kept Pultz’s family informed, providing frequent updates and much-needed reassurance. Nurses and doctors checked in on the family, establishing a genuine sense of care and support. Jeanine and Chase share a special note of thanks to Tricia Hiller, the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Director, who was checking in with the family two to three times, daily.

While the surgery proved successful, Pultz's recovery was anything but linear. Follow-up visits and additional surgeries were required, extending his stay in the hospital. Pultz’s mother won’t soon forget the countless nights she and her family spent at the hospital.

“I got to know all the options in the vending machine,” she joked. “In all seriousness, everyone was so sweet. Even the security guards were checking in on how Chase was doing.”

For nearly two months, Pultz alternated between Maria Fareri Children's Hospital's main campus in Valhalla and the newly expanded Maria Fareri Children’s Healthcare Services inpatient unit at WMCHealth’s MidHudson Regional Hospital facility in Poughkeepsie as he battled one of the most severe infection cases his doctors had ever encountered. Fortunately, both locations have established a reputation for providing advanced and high-quality care, ensuring that Pultz received the attention and expertise necessary to make a full recovery.

Reflecting on the overwhelming journey her family experienced, Pultz’s mother still becomes emotional when describing the ordeal. “We weren’t just patients, we were people. We became such a family,” she shared. 

Now back in school, Pultz's resilience is on full display as he excels in his favorite subject, math, and impresses his teachers with his determination to catch up on missed work. He eagerly looks forward to rejoining his friends on the soccer field, playing football and embracing the joys of childhood.

24/7 Pediatric Emergency Care is available locally in Poughkeepsie at Maria Fareri Children’s Healthcare Services at MidHudson Regional Hospital. Please don’t wait if your child needs emergency care. Call 911, or go to MidHudson Regional Hospital located at 241 North Road in Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.

Chase Pultz is honored before a Hudson Valley Renegades game.