Article via VIP Murfreesboro
By Sadie Fowler
The Feldman family delights in the simple joys of everyday life in their hometown of Murfreesboro, which includes a busy schedule where both parents work and children stay active with school and play. One of the perks of the small-town life Garrett and Karol Feldman enjoy most is the quality healthcare that’s available to them as they raise their growing family.
Originally from South Florida, Garrett and Karol relocated to Middle Tennessee in May 2013 and soon enough they started their family, which now includes three kids under age four, and two beautiful dogs.
“In 2015, we had our first daughter, Ava, and that’s when we met Dr. Castleberry,” said Karol, who works full-time as a marketing director. “We were delighted to have a great pediatrician at Murfreesboro Medical Clinic where our primary care doctor and my OBGYN are located.”
In 2017, Karol and Garrett, who also works full-time as a project manager, welcomed their second child Elliott into the world. Just five weeks ago they celebrated the birth of their third child, Manuela. “It’s accurate to say Dr. Castleberry has seen our family grow over the past three-and-a-half years!” laughed Karol.
In late 2017 the Feldmans brought Elliott to his 9 month well-child checkup. While reviewing his growth chart, Dr. Castleberry noticed that Elliott’s growth rate had slowed. “This had not been obvious to us but when she brought it up we realized she was right,” Karol said. A quick visit to MMC’s clinical laboratory just steps down the hall revealed that one of Elliott’s thyroid function tests was abnormal. A repeat level confirmed the problem.
Dr. Castleberry referred Elliott to a pediatric endocrinologist for further recommendations. The specialist reassured the Feldmans that Elliott did not exhibit any of the other visible symptoms of a thyroid issue. His growth rate was slow but on its own this was not a concern. But because of his young age and the mild abnormality of his lab result, the specialist decided to start Elliott on a low dose of thyroid hormone replacement.
“It is important to understand that Elliott’s signs were so slight they could have easily been missed or attributed to genetics,” she said. “We are rather short people so it’s not hard to assume our kids would be on the lower end of the growth curve.”
“As we know, the first three years of life are key in the brain development of a child,” Karol said. “Although our son’s thyroid levels were only slightly off and no obvious physical signs would clue the naked eye about the underlying issue, we are forever grateful that Dr. Castleberry followed her instinct and curiosity.”
Though Elliott simply needed a little boost through a hormone replacement to balance his levels, the situation was indeed intense and frightening for the family.
“The thought of the potential impact of a misdiagnosis could have been for our son’s development occupied our minds for weeks,” Karol said. “Raising children is a gift and a tremendous responsibility, it really matters to us to have people who care enough to advocate for them.”
Looking back, Karol says they were impressed with Dr. Castleberry’s instinct and experience. They appreciated her calling them every step of the way to provide updates, answer questions, and share what the next steps would be throughout the process.
In addition to being thankful for Dr. Castleberry’s skills, Garrett and Karol say they were also very impressed with the entire staff of MMC, especially Nurse Cindy with whom they bonded through their visits to the clinic.
While Elliott has to take a pill every morning for now, when he turns three they will have the opportunity to take him off his medicine for a month to see if his thyroid produces the right levels on its own. They are hopeful and optimistic as they strive ahead.
“His growth and development are where they need to be,” Karol said. “We are blessed to have a happy, sweet, handsome, and healthy boy who fills our hearts with joy.”