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Warren Gross had suffered from seven ear infections in his first six months of life. His mom, Payten, said he was always on antibiotics and was requiring more and more medication to fight the recurring infections.

She decided to take him to an ENT specialist near their home to see if he qualified for ear tubes. Ear tube surgery drains fluid from the middle ear and prevents future ear infections. The provider told her that he wanted him to have a few more ear infections before having tubes placed.

Payten did not want to wait any longer and decided to seek out a second opinion. She had heard good things about Dayton Children’s pediatric ENT specialist, Ankur Patel, DO, MPH, from friends and others in the community, so she decided to make an appointment.

“The first thing I noticed in our appointment was that Dr. Patel addressed Warren by name as soon as he walked into the room,” said Payten. “I could tell he had a huge smile under his mask. And, when he told us that Warren was a good candidate for ear tube surgery, I would have given him a hug if it wasn’t for COVID!”

warren driving a car into surgery

Before leaving their appointment that day, Payten was able to schedule Warren for ear tube placement and adenoid removal on February 10.

Warren’s surgery
Due to safety protocols in place for COVID-19, Warren had to be tested for coronavirus prior to his surgery. Payten had been nervous about the test, but found that the anticipation was much worse than the test itself.

“Because Warren is so young, I was worried about how he would handle being tested, but the tech was so patient with him and it wasn’t bad at all!”

Payten also found that the day of surgery was quick and easy, including saying goodbye to Warren before he went into surgery.

“Warren is a super, duper mama’s boy, so I was really worried about how he would react when he had to go back to the operating room without me,” said Payten. “But, the nurses jumped right in and brought out a little car for him to drive himself back to the room. He drove off, smiling and waving at me as he went into surgery!”

Following surgery, they had to stay in the hospital for one night, due to Warren’s age, where the nurses treated the family with lots of patience and popsicles.

Warren will follow-up with Dr. Patel and the audiology team at Dayton Children’s in a few weeks to check the ear tube placement. But, for now, Payten is grateful that her son is no longer suffering from chronic ear infections. And, an unexpected result of his surgery? Warren is now sleeping through the night!

Does your child have frequent ear infections? Wondering if they might need ear tubes? Take our 30-second quiz to see if ear tubes might be a good solution for your child's ongoing ear infections!