Thursday, April 12, 2012

How it happened

I was blessed to give birth to my daughter, Catelyn Anna on 12.30.2009. She was an amazing, sweet, bright and spunky little thing, and I couldn't have asked for a better child.

At 20 months and 6 days old, Catelyn became quite ill (she suffered from bloody diarrhea, and was barely eating), so we took her to the clinic.  After we were seen by the doctor on duty, we were sent to a local hospital and told to go directly to the Emergency Room.  We stayed a couple of hours under observation, but were released when Catelyn proved she could take in fluids on her own.

The next morning, she was very lethargic, and slightly irritable, and showed no signs of improvement at all.  We tried to get her to eat, but all she wanted to do was sleep.  We took her back to the ER.  That day, she was admitted. 

The next morning we were told that Catelyn was diagnosed with HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome), which basically harms the kidneys and destroys red blood cells. You can read all about it on your own here.

We were told that there was a 5% chance that the disease could be fatal.  We felt that the 95% chance of being okay was very good for our odds, so we felt a little nervous, but not overly worried. 

Because Catelyn's kidneys were being affected by the disease, she had to have two treatments of dialysis during her hospital stay.  After the first treatment, she was a little spunkier, and things felt like they were looking up.  Her second dialysis treatment was on a Saturday, so we teased that Sunday would be our day of rest.

By the time Sunday rolled around, we had been at the hospital for almost a week.  We enjoyed the company of a few visitors, around mid-day, but by late afternoon things started to seem odd, and it wasn't very long before our world changed forever...

Looking back, it feels like it was a total of 5 minutes that everything took place - even though it was far closer to 7 hours.

Minute 1:  We realized she was unresponsive (while the nurse was taking her stats), the next second we were flying down the hallway with the doctors and nurses to the room where they could do the CT-Scan, and in the blink of an eye we were being told that they had to act now or there wouldn't be time.

Minutes 2-3:  We made phone calls to our immediate family, waited for a variation of dialysis to work and for a cause and treatment to be discovered.

Minute 4:  We were told that they were concerned that her intestine was mostly dead and that there was a slim chance for repair, but that time was limited.  We went in to kiss, hug, sing to and talk to her.

Minute 5:  Just as I began to come to terms with the fact that it would be a long night, our world came to a crashing halt.  The doctors were back telling us she was gone.

Catelyn died on September 11, 2011.   For our family, it is one more reason to cringe at the thought of Sept. 11th.

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