Waking up from his dream, he heard Sarah's voice from two directions. The baby monitor and the open door of the bedroom. Throwing the blankets back, he jumped out of bed, almost tripping over his the sheets.
He heard Daniel coughing loudly again. The past few days Daniel's cold was getting even worse. A cough had developed rapidly and was only getting worse each day.
The coughing stopped and Richie was relieved that his son had caught his breath.
"Daniel?" Sarah sounded worried, which made Richieh hurry again. "Daniel?!"
As he finally reached Daniel's crib, he could hear his son gasping air into his lungs.
"He stopped breathing." Sarah said panicked, picking him up and holding him straight up so it was easier for his lungs to fill with air completely.
"What?" Richie asked confused worried. "Stopped breathing?"
"Yes, he stopped coughing but he stopped breathing!" Sarah held her son close, making sure she could hear him breathe even though it sounded raspy.
"We have to take him to the hospital. Now." Richie walked out of the room, making sure Sarah was following him.
By the stairs, Sarah stopped him. "You should put some clothes on first honey."
Richie looked down at himself, only wearing boxer shorts. "Yes. You go get ready and take him to the car, I'll be right there."
Sarah went downstairs as Richie went back to get dressed more appropriately. He put on the pair of pajama pants that were laying by the bed and grabbed a t-shirt to pull on.
A few minutes later he found Sarah in the back seat of the car with Daniel, he didn't say anything and got in to start to drive.
"Got everything you need?" He asked.
"Yeah, health insurance, pediatrician's info. Go". She urged him.
The early morning traffic hadn't started yet, the road was calm as they drove to the hospital without too many stops.
"Why aren't you going to the Critical Center?"
"Doesn't open til 9 am." Richie answered.
"They're slow. The children's hospital only takes 5 more minutes and they specialize in children." He explained as he continued driving.
15 minutes later, he parked at the emergency entrance of the children's hospital.
Sarah was faster than he was and was already getting out of the car with Daniel.
They were shown to an emergency cubicle almost immediately but Sarah didn't put Daniel down on the bed. Instead she sat down with him as the nurse put a mask with airflow over his face. As any small child, Daniel didn't like what was happening to him and started crying again.
She held him tight so he wasn't able to pull at the mask.
"A doctor will be here right away." The nurse said as a doctor walked in.
"What seems to be the problem?" The doctor asked, looking at Daniel.
"He had a cold but then he developed a cough last week and it just keeps getting worse. Like he can't breathe. He stopped breathing after his last coughing fit."
The doctor nodded. "Lets do a quick examination and see if we need to do more tests."
Richie watched the doctor. There wasn't anything he could do and he didn't like that feeling, he wanted to help his son. The only way he could help him now was being here, with the best care.
"Alright," the doctor looked up at them, then at the nurse, "lets take nose and throat mucus samples, x-rays and maybe blood tests." He instructed the nurse, then turned back to Sarah and Richie. "It's definitely more than just a cough. We'll have to wait for test results to make diagnosis." He explained. "In the mean time he should be admitted to the hospital, I'll get one of the nurses to arrange that."
Any parent's fear of their young child being admitted to hospital had just become reality.