Finding Relief - An HSNT Patient Story

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Rachel Watson’s daughter, Evelyn, kept getting sick every month with some new illness, and Rachel was at the end of her rope trying to find a solution. It started in March of last year, beginning with a couple bouts of sickness that could’ve just been explained as a cold or a flu and that Evelyn was just going through a patch of bad luck having these illnesses come one after the other. But these doctors that Rachel was taking her daughter to gave her no lasting relief, and after the sixth time that Evelyn came down with bronchitis, Rachel was fed up with the lack of urgency and feeling like she wasn’t being heard.

“I was getting frustrated because I knew that she needed antibiotics, like I know there’s an infection, but they were just shrugging everything off,” Rachel said. “And then after she got bronchitis six times, I decided that was enough.”

When Rachel found HSNT Plano through an online search of local providers, she took Evelyn there to see Dr. Achala Ellepola, HSNT Plano’s pediatric provider. Rachel went into Evelyn’s first appointment with the expectation of having to explain what was going on, again, like she had so many times before. As a single mom, Rachel was already juggling work and other responsibilities on top of trying to keep Evelyn healthy, and at this point she just wanted a plan of action.

When she walked out of that first appointment, Rachel had been given that plan.

“Within the first couple of visits, they evaluated everything first, like doing blood work for peace of mind. Then I got referred to a rheumatologist, an allergist, and an ENT, somehow squeezing me in earlier than later. I just needed help and that was what I wanted to establish. And immediately there was a plan of action.

For Evelyn’s part, she and Dr. Ellepola hit it off right away. Dr. Ellepola’s warm and inviting personality puts her patients at ease, and when she’s in the exam room with your child it’s clear that she loves taking care of children and getting them to their very best healthy.

“[Evelyn got a] Barbie doll at her first visit, they gave her a blanket one time, stickers. They really hit it off, they’re on a hugging basis,” Rachel said. “They had to do the COVID test for her first visit and at the last doctor’s office we used to go to they were kind of rough with it, but now [Evelyn’s] not scared to do them anymore because HSNT was gentle. You can tell that Dr. Ellepola cares, that she’s not just doing for a job.”

Dr. Ellepola even called Rachel eight times in a row, trying to get ahold of her, because Evelyn’s test results came back, and she wanted to let Rachel know that she would need to pick up antibiotics for her daughter – all because Dr. Ellepola wanted to make sure she got in touch before the office closed for the day.

For Rachel, coming to HSNT Plano has been a huge relief. From the nursing staff to the team members at the front desk to Dr. Ellepola herself, Rachel has been very pleased with the care that her daughter is receiving.

“Evelyn even said herself that ‘I like coming to this doctor,’” Rachel said. “I just think really highly of HSNT Plano.”