A Mother’s Hunch and Our Care Caught a Tumor in the Nick of Time
When her 5-year-old son Jagger’s tummy ache worsened and she noticed his abdomen harden, Jessica Stone knew something was wrong. She followed her instincts and rushed Jagger to urgent care.
“Jagger is lucky the urgent care walk-in clinic advised us to seek emergency room care at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System,” says Jessica, Jagger’s mom. “He could have easily been sent home for the flu, but that wasn’t the case.”
The Stones arrived at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Emergency Center – Westover Hills, and radiology quickly confirmed the lump was likely a kidney tumor. Jagger was then moved to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio for further testing at the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Not a Moment to Lose
A computed tomography (CT) scan suggested to doctors that the lump was Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer mostly found in children — also the most common pediatric kidney cancer. Before any type of surgery could be performed to confirm their suspicions, doctors had to figure out if the tumor was only in the right kidney or if it was spreading to the liver or lungs.
“In Jagger’s case the tumor wasn’t ruptured, which was a good sign. The CT scan, however, did show some nodules on the lungs,” says Adam Wolfe, MD, PhD, hematologist/oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Jagger’s primary doctor. “The medical team didn’t want to prematurely remove part of a lung, so we followed a treatment plan designed by the Children’s Oncology Group — a national cancer organization — specifically to address the uncertainty with his lungs. They went ahead and treated Jagger as if the cancer was spreading elsewhere in the body.”
The Healing Process
Within two days of his arrival, Jagger underwent a procedure to remove his right kidney. Post surgery, Jagger spent time in intermediate care watching Scooby Doo, his favorite show. The following day he spent his recovery in the seventh floor playroom, surrounded by toys. After surgery, patients need to move around, and the room’s basketball hoop encouraged Jagger to play his favorite sport.
“We couldn’t have been in a better Hospital. The staff included some of the nicest, smartest, calmest people I have ever met,” Jessica says. “The surgery went extremely well. The entire medical team was so patient and informative. The support was nonstop. I even delivered cookies and thank you notes to the staff as a way to express my gratitude.”
A week after his surgery, Jagger began his 28-week chemotherapy treatment. Luckily, there is a 95 percent cure rate for Wilms tumor. Dr. Wolfe will keep close watch on Jagger’s lungs and on the tumor site during the treatment and for the next several years.
“The greatest success was how quickly Jagger got here,” Dr. Wolfe says. “Within the span of a few hours, he was moved from urgent care to emergency room care, to us. Though these kinds of situations are terrifying for families, I am grateful that The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is here to help them through the healing process.”