News & Events

Jeudy Pena's story: Time was of the essence


It's every new parent’s worst nightmare. But for Mariah Medina, it became a reality.

A fall, and a rush to the hospital

Floating Hospital patient Jeudy Pena and his family in Boston.Mariah and her husband returned home from some last minute Christmas shopping the night of December 22, 2017 to the news that their 10-month-old son, Jeudy, had fallen off the bed. They kept a close eye on him over the next hour and were alarmed to see that he was not acting like himself.

“He didn’t want to eat anything and he loves to eat,” said Medina. “And when he fell asleep, he woke up screaming 10 minutes later and started throwing up. We had never seen him like this before. It was so scary.”

Jeudy’s parents rushed him to Lawrence General Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED), where a scan of his head revealed a large epidural hematoma – a brain bleed that required immediate pediatric neurosurgical intervention.

Lifesaving care at Floating Hospital

The parents of Jeudy Pena at Floating Hospital for Children.The Lawrence General ED immediately got in touch with the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute (KPTI) at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center to arrange the transfer. The Lawrence General ED team sent Jeudy’s test results electronically to Floating Hospital, allowing for preparation and coordination of the surgical team prior to his arrival. By the time Jeudy arrived in Boston, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery Jesse Winer, MD, and his surgical staff were on hand and ready in the OR.

“To see a head injury from this type of fall in a 10-month-old is relatively rare,” said Dr. Winer. “This hematoma would have been significantly large in an adult, much less a small child. When that much blood fills the cranial cavity, there is less space for the brain; this increases pressure in the skull, putting the brain at high risk for long term injury. Time was of the essence to stop the bleeding and relieve the pressure.”

Dr. Winer completed the surgery to remove the excess blood and stop the bleeding in about an hour. Jeudy was back to his usual self the very next day and was well enough to go home three days later – on Christmas Day.

“They treated us really well at Floating Hospital and the staff was so patient and answered all our questions in a way that we could understand,” said Medina. “Jeudy is my first child and I was so scared that I was going to lose him. They gave my son his life back. All I can say is, ‘thank you.’”