Saving a Young Life and Building One Family’s Future

Portrait of Sarah Augustnyek.

Two years later, it’s still difficult for Sarah Augustynek to talk about the terrifying moment when her 9-month-old son Adrian was rushed to the hospital and subsequently diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Thanks to the quick thinking of her pediatrician, and expert care from a team of specialists at Women’s & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Adrian survived and is now a happy, healthy toddler.

“The care in ICU was unbelievably top-notch, with constant, one-on-one attention. ”
Sarah Augustynek
Helped by Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo

Sarah recalls the “very, very sudden” onset of Adrian’s illness. “He had low-grade fever but he was eating. He just didn’t look right, though, so I took him to our pediatrician. The doctor took one look and knew something was wrong. In about a day, Adrian went from being irritable to almost non-responsive.”

Her son’s condition clearly an emergency, a team from Children’s Hospital met the family at nearby Millard Suburban Hospital because of its proximity to the pediatrician’s office. “The Children’s stat team then rode with us to Children’s Hospital. They wanted to make sure he would make it,” Sarah says. “He was in the ICU for four days, and spent another seven days at Children’s. Then for about six weeks, he received at-home nursing care.

“The care in ICU was unbelievably top-notch, with constant, one-on-one attention,” Sarah remembers. “Every day he saw a phalanx of specialists—from an infectious disease specialist, otolaryngologist, neurologist and physical therapist, to a speech therapist and an occupational therapist.”

Adrian permanently lost hearing in one ear and sustained some nerve damage as a result of his illness, but otherwise he’s doing fine. In fact, her son now tests “at par or better” for speech and language, his mother reports. He continues to see an audiologist; ear, nose and throat specialist and a neurologist—all connected with Children’s, of course—as part of his follow-up care.

There’s more reason for joy and gratitude in the Augustynek household. Adrian will soon be joined by a little brother. Sarah and her husband David are expecting their second child in January, a day after Adrian’s third birthday.

Thanks to donations to the UB Employees Campaign for the Community, Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo will continue to be aided in its efforts to assist children like Adrian across our community.