Freezin For A Reason
Explaining the loss of your child or children never gets easier. In 2007 my husband, Travis, and I lost our infant Charlotte Diane to a very rare viral infection of the heart.. Then in 2012 we also lost our two-year-old Stella Rose to another rare disease, brain cancer. Tragic as these losses are, this story is not about our losses, but what we gained by being at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
When Stella was diagnosed, I quickly contacted as many people as possible to research where she should be for the best care and the best chance for her survival. I spoke to doctors, family and other hospitals only to discover she was in one of only eight places in this country capable of treating her illness.
I was prepared to travel to the farthest point of the world if it meant giving her a better chance to live, but having her so close to our family, friends and most importantly, our son, changed our path for the better. Travis and I were able to work 2-day shifts, trading time home and hospital for six months. This allowed us to keep things as normal as we could for our 7-year-old Davis. Family and friends were able to visit us and fill in gaps for the times we both had to be at the hospital.
The care received at ACH for us as parents cannot be matched. These were the hardest and most desperate months of my life. ACH made them easier with child-care therapist, Amanda, and our own therapist, Carrie. While we did not spend time sitting in a chair talking about our feelings, we were visited often by them. My son told me, "Mom, if I need to talk about things, I can come to the hospital to talk to Amanda."
Additionally, the nurses and staff, were the most caring and loving group of people I have encountered to date. I remember Stella telling our nurse, Theresa, "I love you." She then reached for her to plant a kiss on her face. Theresa attempted to give a germ-free cheek, but Stella would have none of that and turned her face and laid a smacked her right on the lips.
This is just one of so many moments that I will never forget. They were not all good moments, but they were moments I would not have had without our surgeons, oncologists, nurses, staff and others making sure we gave her the best possible chance. ACH did their best to ensure Stella's health was priority and her parents' health was next in line.
Our stays at ACH do not have happy endings, but provided us with some happy memories and hope. I share this side of our story for a reason. I want Arkansas Children's Hospital to continue to thrive and advance so children can continue to be treated with such a high quality of care close to their homes and communities. Our family will continue to put ACH at the top of our priority list just as they did our daughters and ask that you do the same.
February 2, 2019
Freezin for a Reason is for runners and walkers of all abilities. We offer a 10K, 5K, and the Lap for life for families and their children to take one lap around the track to honor all those past and present patients of Arkansas Children's Hospital. Children and strollers are welcome at all events. All registered participants will receive a t-shirt (if registered by January 12, 2019). We will also have free food and lots of free fun kids activities like bounce houses, face painting, games, and. more.
The Freezin for a Reason event will begin and end at the Conway High School West Campus, located at 2300 Prince Street in Conway, Arkansas. The 5k/10k will begin at 9 am. The Lap for Life will begin at approx 10:45 am. Fees:
Adult 10K $35 Adult 5K or Spirit Runner $30 Adult Lap $15 Kids (any event) $10
With PCOS, we had struggles getting pregnant with our first child. With my 1st pregancy, my daughter was born 2 weeks early by emergency c-section because of Preeclamsia and class 2 hellp syndrome. After another 5 years, we were finally excited to know that baby #2 was on the way. Knowing the issues from the first pregnancy and now 5 years older, we were concerned about the blood pressure and hellp syndrome returning.
Everything was perfect. Then I reached the third trimester. On Saturday, September 24, 2016, I woke up with a pretty severe headache. Again I couldn’t keep anything down. I laid down to take a nap. When I woke, I had a spot in my vision. I couldn’t see well enough to check my phone. I went to the hospital to be checked out. By the time I was admitted I was completely blind. It would be 48 hours before I was conscious enough to be aware of what was happening. My blood pressure was recorded as 250s/120s. The high blood pressure caused a cerebral bleed in the occipital lobe diagnosed as PRES syndrome. As for the rest of the body, I was once again diagnosed with preeclamsia and class 1 Hellp syndrome. The doctor told my husband that the only way mom and baby could survive was to take the baby out. I was 31 weeks pregnant. It was too early for baby. My husband received the news that no husband wants to hear from a doctor. They didn’t know if I would wake up, and didn’t know what kind of deficits I would have if I did wake up. As soon as the baby was born, Angel One from Arkansas Children’s Hospital was called and was waiting on the roof. They escorted our 3lb 3oz preemie to the NICU where she could be cared for around the clock. ACH was great. They provided dad with meals and time with the baby. I remained in ICU for 6 days. I was finally released from the hospital on the 8th day. I was finally was reunited with baby.
Adia was in the NICU at ACH for 32 days after she was born. Thankfully she has had no medical issues beyond just being out of the womb 2 months too early. We are so grateful for what ACH provided, not just for her, but for us as her parents as well. The nurses were extremely helpful and kept us updated. Even the little things like providing meals, a wheel chair, and counseling made a huge difference with our experience. I personally appreciated the non-judgmental nurses. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t be there constantly with the baby. I just didn’t have the strength to take care of myself much less a newborn preemie. I couldn’t see well enough to change her diaper. I couldn’t drive myself to the hospital and relied on my husband to take me on his days off. We also had a daughter at home that needed care as well. The nurses were supper encouraging. ACH offered the comfort of knowing my baby girl was well cared for and gave me time to heal so I could be a good mom to my preemie.
Today our little peanut is now a thriving, smart, funny, kind, loving little 2 year old. She has had no issues and has caught up to where she should be.