Caitlin Jenson’s kids are all ears. They keep ENT specialist Dr. Gerard O’Halloran busy. It first started with Brody, who was born with tongue-tie, where an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue tethers the bottom of the tongue's tip to the floor of the mouth. Brody kept getting ear infections, too. His pediatrician, Dr. Todd Amunrud, referred Brody to Dr. O’Halloran, who surgically fixed Brody’s tongue and inserted a series of tubes as he grew to keep his ears clear. Brody had his first surgery at age 3, then at 4 and 5. He’s 7 now, and doing well. (Luckily Brody’s twin, Owen, has stayed healthy.)
Then little brother Bennett developed his own string of ear infections. Dr. O’Halloran inserted tubes, but the infections continued. Six months later, Dr. O’Halloran replaced the tubes (which kept blocking up) and removed Bennett’s adenoids to avert more infections. It worked.
When the baby of the family, Isabella, started having sleep problems at 18 months, Caitlin turned to Dr. O’Halloran yet again. “She was cocking her head backward as she slept; he had told us before that this was a sign of adenoid issues,” Caitlin recalls. Dr. O’Halloran suggested Children’s Hospital, but the Jensons stayed put. “We chose him because he takes closer care of us,” she explains. “He’s always a text or phone call away.” So Isabella had her adenoids removed at Northfield Hospital, and has slept, well, like a baby ever since.
“Dr. O’Halloran has always given us enough information to know what to look for,” Caitlin says. “He has educated us really well, so we know what we can take care of at home and when we need to go into the doctor.” Dr. O’Halloran coordinates care well with NH&C pediatricians – Dr. Ben Flannery and Dr. Amunrud in Northfield, and Dr. Kelly Meyer in Lakeville – plus primary care and family medicine providers, Urgent Care and Emergency Room providers in and beyond NH&C. “We try to get sick kids in quickly,” says Dr. O’Halloran, who trained at Mayo Clinic for medical school and surgery. “If a doctor calls, we can usually work patients in that week.”
Caitlin’s advice to other parents seeking ENT care? “Trust your pediatrician. That’s who sent us to an ENT in the first place.” And trust your instincts. “I was hesitant to stay in Northfield; I was tempted to go to the cities like lots of people do,” Caitlin says. “But I’m so glad that we stayed here, and I’m so happy with Dr. O’Halloran. It’s nice to have someone you trust close to home.”
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