Published on July 18, 2022

Tupelo Girl’s Parents Thankful for NMMC Neurosurgery, Pediatrics Team

Haylee RauschTo look at 13-year-old Haylee Rausch now, one would never suspect the close call she had less than two months ago. The Tupelo teen was riding her bicycle at home Monday, May 23, when she lost control going down a hill and catapulted over the handlebars.

At first, Haylee and her brother hid the accident from their parents, Savannah and Alvin. But when they discovered that Haylee had thrown up and noticed scrapes on her knee, the Rauschs rushed Haylee to North Mississippi Medical Center’s Emergency Department to be checked out.

A CT scan revealed Haylee had an intracranial hematoma, or collection of blood within her skull, and she was admitted to NMMC’s Critical Care Unit. A subsequent CT scan showed the hematoma was about the same size, which was a good sign. “She was doing great, and we thought we might get to go home,” Savannah says. But instead, neurosurgeon Joaquin Hidalgo, M.D. transferred Haylee to NMMC Pediatrics Unit that Tuesday as a precaution.

“Around 9 p.m. Tuesday night, Haylee started screaming,” Savannah says. After ordering an emergency CT scan, pediatric intensivist Jhoclay Chu See, M.D., discovered the hematoma had doubled in size and was causing a life-threatening brain hemorrhage.

“I was scared to death,” Savannah says. “They were telling us to pray. I thought I was going to lose her.”

Dr. Hidalgo performed emergency brain surgery to remove the blood. “Around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, I was able to see Haylee and she was conscious,” Savannah says. She continued to improve and was discharged home that Saturday.

“Thank God, Dr. Hidalgo didn’t send us home earlier. He told me later that he worried this might happen,” Savannah says. “If we had been home, Haylee probably wouldn’t have made it.”

Less than two months later, Haylee has no lingering side effects and, because her long hair covers her scar, no visible reminders of the terrible ordeal.

Haylee’s family is thankful for NMMC’s physician specialists like Dr. Hidalgo and Dr. See. “If it hadn’t been for Dr. Hidalgo, I know without a doubt that we would’ve had to go to Memphis or Jackson for treatment,” Savannah says. “He stayed around the clock and checked on Haylee often. I thank everyone who had a part in saving her and getting her to where she is today.”

Dr. Hidalgo practices with North Mississippi Neurosurgical Associates, which is part of NMMC’s Neuroscience Institute. For more information, visit www.nmhs.net/neuroscience-institute.

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