Heather Grondin and her family were enjoying a day at the beach when their baby daughter Lyla became ill. They weren’t sure what was wrong with her and brought her to their local hospital. There they ran a battery of tests but everything came back fine. Meanwhile, Lyla’s condition was rapidly declining. Heather recalls, “we needed to do something, we needed to take her someplace else.” They called NewYork-Presbyterian and a pediatric specialist was able to diagnose Lyla’s condition over the phone. She had contracted infant botulism, a rare and deadly disease. NewYork-Presbyterian arranged for the only known medication for infant botulism to be flown in overnight from California. An ambulance was dispatched with Dr. Zackai, a pediatric critical care doctor. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when he arrived. Heather says, “he was so respectful of the doctors and nurses, he didn’t step on anyone’s toes, he kind of put everyone at ease and said, ‘it’s okay, I’ve got this.’” Lyla was stabilized and rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian.

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