A hit to the chest
Three-year-old James Ward is a future major league baseball star. He loves to play games involving a ball with his parents, Raymond and Cynthia, and his siblings, Anna, 5, and Rawls, 7.
He received his first sports-related injury on an August afternoon while playing baseball with his mom, brother and sister at home. After seeing his mom pitch a few rounds, James wanted his turn to pitch. After his first pitch, he took a hit to the chest. Cynthia immediately knew something was wrong and ran to grab her son, who passed out in her arms for a few seconds. Despite his injury, James did not shed a tear.
His mother took him in the house to lie down while she called his pediatrician at Foothills Pediatric Center. The doctor recommended she take him straight to the hospital. For their family, that meant East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where their children had been treated many times.
After the family arrived at Children’s Hospital, Dr. Heather Radu, Emergency Department physician, diagnosed James with a hairline fracture to his sternum and a myocardial contusion (a bruise to the heart muscle.)
James stayed overnight in the hospital so that Dr. Sumeet Sharma, a pediatric cardiologist, could monitor his cardiac enzymes and make sure there was no heart arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm. James wore a 24-hour holter monitor to verify a normal rhythm after this type of injury.
“The doctors and his physician assistant (Alice Kampas) were really sweet to him and very helpful to us,” Cynthia said. “James felt right at home with the movies he watched, popsicles he ate and especially loved playing with all the toys in the playroom. He also picked out baseball stickers and bandages from the nurses.”
After an overnight stay in the hospital, James didn’t stay on the “disabled list” long. He was back to playing baseball and being the household comedian within just a few weeks.
Cynthia said her family had a great experience at Children’s Hospital and appreciated the special attention her family received. “I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I live in Sevier County and would drive the extra mile to go to Children’s Hospital,” she said.
A little about James
Favorite Color – orange
Favorite Food – oranges, apples and chicken nuggets
Dislikes – milk and vegetables
Likes – playing games, riding his scooter, playing with his dog Mickey, a golden retriever
Favorite TV Show – Veggie Tales