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Jennifer and Jason Manseau

Jennifer and Jason Manseau
Posted on: 04/18/2022

Take me to MountainStar when my Peter Pan needs air and care  

Meet Jason. He’s 15 years old, has Down Syndrome, and his mother refers to him as a living Peter Pan.

“Jason is my Peter Pan but not for the way people think. It’s not because he’ll never grow up, but because he always has a happy thought. He’s always looking for the bright side,” Jennifer Manseau said.

Maybe that’s why it’s even more difficult to see Jason in pain, like when he recently crashed on his scooter.  

“Right after the crash, Jason sat on the ground with his knee bleeding – but he wasn’t freaking out at the bloody knee, he was holding his elbow and saying it hurt,” Jennifer said.  

As a single mother of five (including a 2-month-old baby), Jennifer had her hands full. She knew getting Jason an X-ray on his elbow could be a lively event, so she chose the family-oriented Mountain View Hospital – Payson.

“They were wonderful. The gentleman who did the X-ray held my baby while I helped Jason use the restroom. Plus, I had three kids in the Emergency Room waiting room, and the staff smiled and welcomed them. Everyone was beyond nice,” Jennifer said.

The X-ray revealed a bad break in Jason’s elbow, and he needed surgery that night.
The next day, Jason left the hospital with five screws in his elbow and a prescription to manage the pain.

From crashed scooter to crashed lungs

Jennifer attentively gave Jason his pain medication as he recovered from surgery, and for the next couple days Jason moved about at a slow, sluggish pace. Then one morning Jason wouldn’t wake at all. His breathing sounded like gurgles, and his lips appeared pale.

“I could tell something wasn’t right,” Jennifer said. “I called 911 and when the Spanish Fork ambulance arrived, Jason’s oxygen was at 36 (normal levels are between 80 and 100), and he had a 103.6-degree fever. The paramedics asked where he should go and I didn’t hesitate; I said, ‘Please take him to Mountain View - Payson!’” 

As the Emergency Room swiftly provided care to Jason, they found his right lung completely full of fluid and the left side three quarters of the way full.  Turns out that while on his pain medication, Jason’s body had indolently inhaled food or drink instead of swallowing it, causing a dangerous aspiration pneumonia lung infection.

“As I sat by Jason with tears forming, I felt this big, comforting hand on my shoulder. The man said, ‘I’m nurse Joe. This is Dr. Joe. If you’re worried or stressed, you holler for Joe and one of us will come.’ It was so comforting,” Jennifer said.

As the Joes and hospital team members diligently worked to remove fluid from Jason’s lungs, his oxygen levels continued to inch up and then crash down. The community hospital team decided Jason needed an air ambulance ride to the advanced pediatric care at Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

Hope for healing delivered at Timpanogos Regional Hospital

Jennifer raced to Timpanogos Regional Hospital, one of MountainStar Children’s Services main hubs, by car while AirMed professionals transported Jason by helicopter. The fast medical collaboration proved essential for Jason’s life-threatening situation.

“Thankfully, soon after we got to Timpanogos, I saw Jason’s oxygen levels hit 80 – he hadn’t been up to 80 in more than four hours. There was hope,” Jennifer said.

More hope arrived as Jennifer met Dr. Dustin Monroe, pediatric critical care specialist at Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

“Dr. Monroe came over happy and cheerful … He put his arm around me and said, ‘We got him, Mom,’” Jennifer said. “It was amazing. I was literally watching my child not breathe correctly and the doctors and nurses helped me feel like everything was going to be ok.”

Hospital care provides a breath of relief and new best friends

At this point, Jason lay in the hospital bed sedated as his respiratory system relied on a breathing tube. But over the next couple days, Jason’s lungs grew stronger, and he began waking up.

“Once, when Jason’s eyes started opening, Dr. Monroe walked over and said, ‘I’m Dr. Monroe and I’m going to be your new best friend. Is that ok with you? Jason nodded and then fell back to sleep,” Jennifer said. “He and the entire hospital team were incredible.”

Thankfully, within just four days of attentive and compassionate hospital care, Jason’s lungs cleared significantly, his strength rebounded and he returned home.

“He got better just as quickly as he got sick. But there’s no way Jason would have lived without Mountain View Hospital – Payson, AirMed and Timpanogos Regional Hospital. He needed every single one of them. If you took one away, my child would not have made it,” Jennifer said. “Now he tells people that he almost died. He tells everyone, ‘I was sick, but I’m all better now.’”

In fact, Jason’s feeling so much better that he’s back on his scooter – much to his mother’s chagrin.

Jennifer and Jason Manseau
Posted on: 04/18/2022

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