Yesterday Scott and I recieved a call from Phoenix Children's Hospital asking us to come and tell Kyler's story for their radio-a-thon. We were honored to be asked. And it brought back lots of memories. When I posted this to Facebook, I had a lot of people ask what happened to Kyler. So I thought I would tell his story on our blog where our friends and family can read. I hope that it reminds you what a blessing children are! And I am warning you- this is a long story. I remember every little detail so vividy.
Kyler was 15 months old. We were living in a 2 bedroom apartment waiting for our new house to be built. I was 24 weeks pregnant with our twin girls. Scott and I were both working full-time. Kyler went to daycare for a few hours each day. One day when I was picking Kyler up, they told me that they thought he might have pink eye and that he needed to stay home the next day. I remember feeling annoyed because I was going to have to call in sick AGAIN.
The next day I was working from home and Scott was holding Kyler who was fast asleep. Scott mentioned to me that Kyler felt a little warm. I touched him and he felt really hot. So we took the temp and sure enough he had a temp of 105. That was the first moment that I got scared. We rushed him to the local ER.
We spent the entire day in the ER with him. They didn't really do any tests. They just told us that he had the flu. They gave him Tylenol and sent us home. I wasn't so sure....
Scott left for work and my mom came over to help me. I remember that he was laying on the floor lifeless. He looked terrible. He wouldn't eat or drink. All he did was sleep.
He was up a lot during the night. And first thing in the morning we brought him right back to ER. If nothing else- he was dehydrated. But my mommy gut, told me that it was something else. This time the hospital actually did some tests. At one point the nurse was doing an assesment and when she moved his head, he screamed. So she let him calm down and then she asked me to move his head just to see what happened. He started screaming again. The nurse looked very worried. There was a lot of whispering between the nurses and doctor and then they did a spinal tap. I remember waiting in the waiting area. I can even remember exactly which room he was on. It's frightening how many details I still remember.
Shortly after the spinal, they moved Kyler into the Pediatric unit since they decided they would keep him over night. It was almost immediatly after we moved to our own room that I knew something bad was gonna happen. I saw the ER doctor come in. I just knew the ER doctor wouldn't come over to the peds section if nothing was wrong. And I was so right. In his most matter of fact voice, he informed us that our 15 month old son had spinal meningitis. Most likely bacterial. I fairly certain that I stopped breathing. I had spinal meningitis when I was 10 days old. I don't remember it, but I have been told over and over about how I nearly died. So I knew how serious this illness was.
At this point everything started happening really fast. The nurses started working on the plans to have him air- evaced to Phoenix Children's Hospital. We would not be allowed to ride with him. So we decided that Scott would stay and see Kyler off and Scott's mom drove me up to PCH right away so I could be there to meet him. We actually made it to the hospital before the holicopter. I can remember sitting with Scott's mom and my parents just waiting. When he did arrive they would only allow me to go with him. We were rushed to the Pediactric Intensive Care Unit. Everone who went near my son had on masks, gowns and gloves. There were tons of them. They were all rushing to hook him up to all kinds of equipment. I remember being terrified.
Then a doctor came over to talk to me. I clearly remember him saying "There is a good possibility that he may not make it." I ignored him. And he repeated it a second time. At this point I remember yelling at him. And thank goodness Scott showed up at this point.
That night Scott and I just sat watching our boy and crying. He looked so lifeless. We were beyond scared. Kyler slept a lot, but when he woke up he would mone and whine. And we couldn't pick him up. So hard....
The next day was a blur of activity. Kyler got a Catscan. They found that his brain was swollen right up to his skull bone. Not a good sign at all.
That night was an awful one for me. Scott decided to go to work since he only had so much time off and we knew Kyler was going to be in the hospital for a minimum of 2 weeks. I had my parents there will me until about 10 and then they went to a hotel just down the street.
The first half of the night I actually fell asleep in the chair in his room (hard to do when you are 24 weeks pregnant with twins!). But I was awoken around midnight by a lot of commotion in the PICU. The girl 2 doors down from Kyler was not doing well. They had kicked her family out and the family was in the room next to us waiting. I could hear the mom crying. It was more like wailing. And I could see doctors and nurses rushing to help this little girl. At about 1am they actually did an emergency surgery in her room.
I sat next to my son and I remmeber thinking "Thank God, it is not my son." But at the same time I knew he could be next. And his heart monitor (he was having VERY low blood preasure) kept going off. But the nurses were just too busy with this girl. I just couldn't interupt them. She needed them more. So I just waited and prayed.
At about 3am, the girl 2 doors down passed away. I actually saw the doctor tell the mom. She fell to her knees and screamed. I was bawling too. I didn't even know her. But you just know what a mom's love is. Till this day I can remember the terrible sound of her cries.
I don't know why he did, but for some reason my dad showed up at the hospital at about 5am. I needed someone. I felt like I was cracking. My dad had actually heard the mom crying in the family area. He had no idea..... Moments later we saw he body being wheeled out of the room. Not a memory that I like to think about.
That day (a Sunday) Kyler had lots of visits from family, friends, and even our Pastor. His condition had not changed. No improvements. But he was still there and that was a blessing.
That night Scott stayed with me. I did not want to be alone after the previous night. The hospital gave me a room with a bed to rest. At some point in the middle of the night, I wanted to go see how my boy was doing. I was half asleep. And I was contracting some. (But I had been for last couple of weeks.) I really didn't feel bad. Just out of it. Well a nurse saw me walking and thought something was wrong. So she and Scott, against my will, had me admitted to the ER. From there I was taken by ambulance to Good Sam's.
I was so upset. I wanted to be with my baby. It was hard to think about the babies in my belly. I was so much more concerned about Kyler. It was such a hard night. Especially for Scott. He was rushing back and forth between the hospitals. I am not going to go into all the details, but it was that very night that Scott became a Christian.
On Monday morning, I was realeased from the hospital and ordered on to strict bedrest. That same morning Kyler was transfered out of Intensive Care and on to a regular floor. It felt like we were finally having a break through!!!!
Kyler still had a very long road to recovery. It was a miracle that he lived, but the doctors still feared that he would have hearing loss and/or a learning disorder. I spent the entire next 2 weeks with Kyler at the hospital. I was limited a wheel chair. That was frusterating. But the nurses and staff were awesome. I also had tons of help from my parents. My dad came to the hospital every single day after work. He would help get us all fed and Kyler to bed. Then he would drive me to the hotel that the hospital got for me. First thing every morning, Scott would bring me back to spend the day with Kyler.
Each day brought more little victories. One day he started eating. Another day he started walking. And before long he was running all around the hospital!!!! It was a miracle!!! Even the doctors were in complete amazement. And finally, he passed his hearing test!!!! On June 2, 2005- Kyler left Phoenix Children's hospital in perfect health!!!!!
And 10 weeks later, we welcomed our twin baby girls: Danika and Makenzie. Also in perfect health even though they were 6 weeks early. Someone was watching over our family!!!!
When Scott quit his job to become a nurse, he knew that he wanted to work at Phoenix Chilren's Hospital. He truely felt that he had the heart to help other families and sick children. I am so very proud of him.
So we will be telling a small portion of our story live on the radio on Spetember 16th. I will post a link to the website when it gets closer. I hope you will be a doner!!! We are!! And have been every since Kyler's illness!!!