Kyla Kitzman

Kyla Kitzman

Kyla Kitzman was in pain. She wanted her mom. Her care team stepped in instead.

Kyla came to the Emergency Department with pain in her abdomen. An ultrasound showed that Kyla’s fallopian tube was enlarged; the doctor suspected an infection.

After two weeks of antibiotics, the pain got worse. Kyla came into the Women’s Health Center; there, April Fitzloff, PA-C recommended hospitalization for a change in treatment. OB/GYN Shannon Lau, MD, FACOG recommended diagnostic laparoscopy to determine why Kyla’s pain had not improved, and more closely examine the fallopian tube.

At 21, Kyla had never been hospitalized. “I was frightened, in pain, facing surgery and needing my mom,” Kyla says. But no visitors were allowed, a COVID-19 precaution. 

“My care team went above and beyond for me,” Kyla says. “They understood my fear of making decisions and facing surgery alone without my parents. They stepped up and filled my mom’s place as best they could.”

Dr. Lau and the surgical team “took the time to slowly explain stuff to me, let me know exactly what’s going on. They didn’t sugarcoat it, but they didn’t make it seem so scary.”

During the surgery, Dr. Lau discovered Kyla’s appendix was inflamed. Dr. Lau called in surgeon Ashely Marek, MD for an emergency appendectomy.

“Dr. Marek and Dr. Lau had my parents called during the surgery to make sure it was okay to proceed,” Kyla says. “They did a great job taking care of me, and especially letting my parents know what was going on, keeping them updated.”

Kyla was hospitalized overnight. Her parents stood outside her window. Her Med/Surg nurses stood right by her side. 

“They were compassionate, gentle, caring and comforting. It meant so much to me and my worried family,” Kyla says. “All the staff made me feel safe.”

COVID-19 precautions made her feel safe, too.

“I wasn’t too nervous about COVID-19 because they were so aware, and handling it so well,” Kyla recalls. “Walking into the clinic, they took everyone’s temperature right way – that reassured me that they’re checking everyone carefully.” She also felt safe knowing the clinic and Women’s Health Center are completely separate from the Respiratory Clinic where Kyla had a strep test weeks earlier. After surgery, on the Med/Surg floor, “they kept me far away from anyone who had the possibility of COVID-19.”

Kyla’s advice to other young adults? “If you’re having persistent pain, call and see if you should come in. I thought, Do I just ignore it as a ‘female pain’? I’m glad I persisted and went in.”