Specialists make surgery stress free

His fears allayed, youth now says "the hospital was the greatest place ever"

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Davis Cotner has not suffered from strep throat since he had his tonsils taken out five months ago. The kindergartner, from Bossier City, was getting strep throat almost monthly before a doctor suggested surgery.

"We went to see his doctor and he said he had tonsil stones and had crypts in his tonsils and they needed to come out," said Kayla Cotner, Davis' mother.

Kayla scheduled surgery for Christmas break.

"We got there and we were nervous."

That's when certified Child Life Specialist, Lexi Little, came in to help calm Davis and prepare him for surgery.

"Davis seemed a little nervous. He was very curious," said Little. "He asked a lot of questions. That's part of my role, to make sure he knows exactly what we're doing. A lot of times there's a lot of misconceptions on what was going on so that was part of my job to explain and ease that anxiety and comfort him."

Child Life Specialists are one of the 17 programs who receive funding through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Little helped calm Davis down by using coloring books and an iPad. She also showed him how he would be receiving medicine through a syringe and Davis practiced on his own stuffed animals.

"I think a lot of times kids think very concrete and really literal. I've had kids before that whenever you say they're going to have a cat scan they come in saying 'where's the cat?'

"It's good just to know exactly what we're talking about and it helps them just to learn in different ways."

Davis' surgery was a success. Even more successful was Lexi's ability to make the family feel comfortable.

"If she hadn't been there we would've probably been a nervous wreck," said Kayla.

Davis no longer has throat pain and he has not been diagnosed with strep throat since the surgery.

"The hospital is the greatest place ever."

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