Moving on to middle school, celebrating with friends during summer softball, and having the perfect summer quickly took a 180 degree turn on the night of May 22nd 2001.
What started out as any other day, I went to school, sitting in Mrs. Hanf’s classroom just waiting for that final bell to ring so that I could offically go home and get ready for 5th grade promotion. Mom picked me up that sunny afternoon, driving home we were listening to her old Gold and Platnium album as we did everyday, but when I got out of the car I noticed that my leg had began to throb. I brushed it off, thinking it was nothing, and walked inside to start to get ready for that evening I had been waiting for. If only I had known what was going to happen that next day.
We went to graduation where I slowly hobbled across the stage, feeling sick to my stomach, I just wanted to go home afterwards and try to sleep off the sick feeling. I went home, took my medicine for my poison ivy I had gotten a week earlier from playing in the fields, and went to bed. About 1:00 am, I woke up throwing up and with a throbbing pain shooting into my left leg.
I went and woke my mom up, she got me some tylenol and laid in me bed next to my sister so that she could keep an eye on me. Over the next 4 hours, I continued to get sicker and sicker. Mom, thinking I had the flu, took me out to the couch to lay down while she sat with me. As soon as I laid down, she turned on the lights to check my temperature, and that’s when I heard that heart wrenching scream. She didn’t say what was wrong, just took off running to get my dad. As soon as my dad saw me, he threw me over his shoulder and took off running for the car. My mother told my grandparents, who were visiting for my promotion, to watch my sister and that they were headed for the hospital.
When I arrived at the hospital that morning, I was throwing up more than I ever had before in my life, but what scared me the most was when I looked into that mirror that in the emergency room. The only thing I had saw was my face, completely black with red streaks and sores all over it. After that I don’t really remember much. Mom told me later on that I had went unconscious. The doctor came in and got my temperature, which was 106.8, then screamed at the staff to cancel the ambulance and get life-flight immediately because I wasn’t going to make it much longer. Life flight arrived only 15 mins after Dr. Eplee placed that order, and away I was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
Upon arrival at Children’s Mercy, my heart had quit beating, I was dying before everyone eyes and there wasn’t much that could be done until we landed. They quickly revived me as soon as we landed on that rooftop, only to send me to the ICU where I coded 3 more times. Asking them to please wait for my mommy to get there, I was abruptly turned down when a doctor came running in saying, ” You’re a very sick little girl, and we need to figure out what is wrong.”
My parents arrived 30 minutes later to be told that I was given 24 hours to live. 24 hours left to live seems too unreal to a little 11 year old girl, who just want’s to go outside and by softball with her friends and go camping all summer. I was put in an isolated room in the ICU until infectious disease doctors, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapy, rehabilitation, plus many more examined me. My temperature was still staying around 106.3 at that point, I was put in a cold room with no blankets, in more pain than I had ever been in in my life.
Later that afternoon my lab results came in and my infectious disease doctor came in to tell me the news. I had Streptococcus Type A in my bloodstream, Toxic Shock Syndrome, and Necrotizing facitis. I was told that mean’t that I had the flesh eating bacteria, and that is when she showed me my leg. I had nothing left to the back of my leg anymore, whatever had given me this horrible disease, took my leg with it. Still in that 24 hour time, I was given a choice. We have to take your leg or we wait and see how the antibiotics are working. How do you make that decision at 11? My mom and dad let me decide because I knew what I wanted. I wanted to try the medicine.
As a couple days passed, my condition only got worse. I was unable to even adjust myself in bed, let alone walk or anything of that sort. I was upset because I didn’t understand why God was taking me so soon, I had so many plans. Later that night my pastor and my doctor from home came in and said a prayer over me, as I was in and out of consciousness, and went home. My parents awoke to a nurse rushing in my room around 2:45 am that night, I had gotten out of bed to go to the bathroom in my sleep. It was the first time I had been able to put any sort of pressure on it in almost 2 weeks.
Still with a long way to go, I got my faith back that I could fight through this little curve ball I was being thrown. I was still on three gorilla antibiotics, but they were taking me on a lower dosage by the next few weeks.
Eventually, I was given a PICC line in my left arm to have medication given to me through, and finally given an opportunity to go home.
When I returned home, I had a nurse come in everyday to change my leg dressings, face dressings, and give me my medications. That went on for almost 4 months before I was able to be off of everything fully.
I had later found out that I had been bitten by a brown recluse spider and had only a 5% chance of living because the venom attacked/shut down most of my organs. To this day, my parents call me the miracle child because of that dreadful night so long ago. Live your life everyday as if it was your last, I was lucky enough to get a second chance in life, and I can say that I live my life so much differently that I did. I was saved.