Joplin mom shares concerns over COVID-19, trips to hospital

Urgent Care visits begin to rise after slump in April-May

JOPLIN, Mo. – Having a child with cancer is hard enough, and maneuvering through the fear and uncertainty that comes with a pandemic often leaves Mandi Lindsey worrying about her son.

“It’s definitely overwhelming, you know, you couldn’t pick a more complicated time to have your kid in and out of the hospital. If we don’t have to go to a public place, we usually don’t. Family’s houses and stuff, we make sure they haven’t been to the hospital or anything that could put Simon in critical stage,” explained Lindsey.

Her little boy was diagnosed with brain cancer after doctors discovered a tumor in late February.child with cancer

Now, with a three month stay at the hospital ahead of him for chemo, Mandi’s doing everything she can to protect his weakened immune system.

“Last Monday, it was .07% and it should be in the thousands, so he could get a fever from a mosquito bite, a cold, you know, anything can turn into an infection really, really fast,” said Lindsey.

Like Mandi, many people are worried about going into public places, especially medical offices. During April and May, Urgent Care visits dropped 50%.

“We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls to see if we were even open, to see if it was safe to come in, which it has been the entire time. We’ve increased our cleaning dramatically,” stated Kayla Martinez with Freeman Urgent Care.Child with Cancer

As things reopen, more people are resuming normal activities, and that’s bringing up visits to Urgent Care and the ER. While Martinez says she understands people’s concern over COVID-19, it’s important not to put off medical care.

“You’re safe to come in here. If you can’t get into your doctor, we can give you prescriptions to get you through a month or so, or we can get you a physician if you don’t have one,” said Martinez.

Mandi is still adjusting to her new normal, reserving trips to the ER for absolute emergencies, doing what treatments she can at home with her family.

“We’re doing our parts as parents to making sure that all of our kids are doing the same thing as to keeping safe through this.”

If you’d like to help support Simon’s family with medical expenses, you can donate here.

You can also follow Simon’s journey on TikTok @SimonSaysCancerSucks.

Martinez says that if you need to go to Urgent Care, you can always utilize the “Save My Spot” program, online to save time and avoid waiting in the lobby.