The trip I went on was not one very far from home. It started on June 17 in a town called Tuscaloosa. I was feeling tired and sick so my mom took me to the doctor and I had double pneumonia. When they told me I had to be admitted into the hospital for a few days, I cried, I begged my mom not to make me go, it’s like I knew something wasn’t going to go well. But I had to go.
Upon admission, I thought it was pretty cool. I had never been in the hospital before so I played with the wheelchair, enjoyed being waited on, friends came and visited. Then came the ivs and medicine. They couldn’t find a vein so they had to stick me about five times. When they finally started the medicine, it felt like ice and fire going into my veins at the same time.
Twenty minutes later, the nausea set in. I threw up and dry heaved for what seemed an eternity. If I didn’t feel sick before, I sure did then. My mom insisted to the doctor that I was allergic to the medicine. The doctor insisted I wasn’t and said we would try again tomorrow.
The morning of the 18th went well. I had a biscuit, played on the computer, then came the medicine again. The ice, the fire through my veins then the nausea. I remember my mom helping me to the bathroom and the rest of the story is what my mom tells me.
Mom saw that I was in deep despair, she pressed the call button for help and twelve people showed up. Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and a Chaplin. They got me back into the bed and started hooking up tubes and wires everywhere but I wasn’t improving. Within 15 minutes they had me in the ICU putting a tube down my throat. Mom says they said I had ARDS – acute respiratory distress syndrome. 15 minutes later they were telling her that they were calling a helicopter to life flight me to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. My first helicopter ride and I don’t even remember it.
By the time I got to Birmingham and mom got to see me, I had been put on a ventilator because I wasn’t breathing on my own, I had nine iv lines going into me. A tube down my throat that went half down into my lungs and was totally paralyzed. They told my mom I was going to die.
Mom stayed until they assured her I was stable but I was still very critical. The nine doctors they had working on me had no idea what was wrong with me. For nine days they pumped every type of medicine into me they could try. Questioning my mom if I did drugs, ate mushrooms or anything. My mom assured them I was a great kid.
My kidneys started to fail and fluid started building up in my body. They put chest tubes in and drained liters off my lungs and put me on dialysis. I was still in a coma and they were still no closer to finding out what was wrong.
Mom had everyone she knew and everyone they knew praying for me. Then finally the break came. They did a biopsy on my bone marrow and just as my mom had said, it showed it was a drug allergy. They stopped all medications and I started improving dramatically. Within the week I was able to go home.
I’m still a little weak, after all I lost 17 pounds. But for a kid who they said was going to die, I’m doing great.
So my story isn’t a trip across the world, it’s was a trip to the hospital. But it’s a trip that I didn’t go on alone. If not for my mom and God, I wouldn’t have made it back. And it’s a trip that has definitely changed my life.
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