Skip to main content

Meet a Miracle- Dotty Nichols

Dotty Nichols was not her usual high-energy and talkative self this past December, as she and her mom, Jill Montz, sat in the Wichita Theatre watching The Christmas Story.  Instead, the 10-year-old complained of a nagging stomach ache.  Believing it might be the onset of the stomach bug, which had made its way around town, the mother-daughter duo stayed to see the end of the play then went straight home to rest.

By Saturday, Dotty ran a low grade fever, was lethargic and nauseous and wanted nothing but to lay down.  Early Sunday, after going to her dad and stepmoms house, nausea struck again.  Brittany Nichols, Dotty’s stepmom as well as a nurse, suspected something other than a stomach bug and called Dotty’s pediatrician, Dr. Rodney Yap.

Upon hearing of Dotty’s symptoms that began on Friday, Dr. Yap speculated appendicitis and advised the family to take her to the Bridwell Center for Emergency Care at United Regional as soon as possible.

Once they had Dotty in the care of the Emergency Department staff, Jill said the nurses were wonderful by keeping Dotty calm and keeping the family informed.  “We never imagined it might be her appendix!” Jill said.

Appendicitis was confirmed following a computed tomography (CT scan).  Dotty was immediately admitted to the pediatric unit and prepped for surgery while general surgeon, Dr. Alan Coleman spoke to the family and prepared for the procedure.  Dr. Coleman explained that Dotty’s appendix had not ruptured and a laparoscopic procedure would be performed which was good news for her and her family.

Dotty’s dad, Tony Nichols said, “While we as parents knew this was a routine surgery, the staff knew it was not routine for us and everyone was very sympathetic to Dotty’s and our fears.”

Dotty’s surgery took a little over an hour and she spent two days in pediatrics recovering. “The staff treated Dotty as their one and only patient, although we knew she wasn’t,” Jill said.  “It was a truly amazing experience. The care everyone at the hospital exhibited was top notch.”

Jill went on to say how she was impressed with all the staff in every department.  “While a hospital stay is not something we look forward to, the staff at United Regional made our experience as pleasant as possible along with the resources provided by Children’s Miracle Network.”  Jill added, “We are thankful for everyone who took such good care of our daughter.”