This year (2007) in January we had a terrifying experience.

In the middle of the night we woke up to the sound of a seal barking. We could tell Quinan was coughing and rushed to his bedroom. He couldn’t seem to breathe. I don’t remember all the details right now, but we didn’t know what to do. Michele sat with him in the bathroom with the shower streaming hot water hoping the moisture would help him to breathe better. It didn’t work. I’ll never forget the look on his face (he couldn’t breathe).

I panicked. This was one of those moments when you feel absolutely helpless as a parent. I thought about calling 911, but didn’t and insisted to Michele that we go to the emergency room right away. Within a minute or two we were on our way. Michele sat in the back with him in his car seat. I drove as quickly as I could (without putting us in too much danger).

We rushed into the emergency room waiting area. I was choked up and remember saying “my son can’t breathe”. I must have been pretty distraught because the lady at the reception area got help right away. They directed us to the back and the nurses started working on him right away.

Our poor daughters Ken and Jen awoke as left for the hospital and were at home worried and praying. Their prayers were answered.

We didn’t know it at the time, but he had croup (which is a swelling of the vocal chords). Unfortunately Quinan either had a lot of swelling (or has a petite airway) and was in respiratory distress. He ended staying in the hospital for a couple days.

Audio: Quinan’s croup cough

This whole experience for very surreal for me, because this same ER was where I said goodbye to a good friend who had a heart attack a few years ago.

So why am I blogging this now? Less than a week ago we woke up to Quinan barking again. Luckily he wasn’t in respiratory distress and I wasn’t in shock. When we were in the hospital (back in January) the nurses told us that the best remedy for croup is to drive around in the car at night with the windows down. It was raining outside so we grabbed blanket, wrapped up Quinan and I held him on the porch in the cool moist air. Within a short while his barking cough had settled and he was breathing normal (for having a cold).

I think it’s odd that we didn’t have an experience with either Ken or Jen similar to this and I hope that readers of this will have and idea of what to do if their little ones have croup.

12/11/2007 | quinan |


  1. Sounds like a very similar event we had with Heidi. She ended up in the hospital for about 5 days. She had an asthma attack. Didn’t even know she had asthma until then. It is very scary to see your kids helpless and depending on you for help. Hope this winter is a good one, with no croup!

    Dec 13, 07:51 PM

  2. How old was Heidi?

    Dec 13, 07:53 PM

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