EVEN YEARS AGO, my then 5-week-old daughter, Robyn,
became ill with a high fever. I was frantic and called our pediatrician,
who advised me to bring her to the hospital immediately. Upon our
arrival at the hospital, a nurse whisked Robyn away to draw blood
and perform many other tests. The doctor decided she also needed
to have a spinal tap. She explained the risks that were associated
with the procedure, but said this might be the best way to find
out what was wrong with my daughter.
We agreed to the procedure and signed the consent forms. I remember
holding Robyn so tight and wishing that I could be laying there
in her place. We finally got settled in to our room late that night.
Sometime in the middle of the night, I awoke to a commotion in our
room beside Robyn’s crib and jumped up to see what all the
fuss was about. Robyn had developed a rash all over her tiny body.
The nurses called her doctor immediately and early that morning,
she told us she wanted to airlift Robyn to another hospital. I was
terrified at the thought of her being in a helicopter without me,
but I had to let her go.
we arrived at the hospital, Robyn had already been placed in the
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and was hooked up to several machines.
I hated that! The doctor there told us Robyn was critical and that
we should prepare ourselves for the worst, because it appeared she
had meningococcus. However, he said he wouldn’t be positive
until the results of the spinal tap came back. We were told that
Robyn had a 50-50 chance of surviving her illness; even if she managed
to survive, there was a significant possibility that she could have
brain damage, or lose her sight or hearing.
He said the antibiotics would do about half the work, and her tiny
body would have to do the rest. For four days we waited to see if
she would pull through, and over this time, we had people in several
states praying. We prayed day and night. At one point, I remember
thinking that Robyn’s illness was a punishment for my having
a baby so young. I know different now, but that’s what was
going through my mind. As the days went by, which seemed like an
eternity, Robyn began to improve. I sat at her side and sang “You
Are My Sunshine,” probably a million times.
The doctors and nurses were amazed at the recovery Robyn made. After
numerous tests to check her hearing and vision, everything appeared
to be fine. The doctor said that it would be some time before we
would be able to assess any brain damage that could have occurred
as a result of Robyn’s illness. However, she is 7 years old
now and as healthy a child as anyone could hope and pray for.
Robyn and I have been through a lot together, including the death
of her father almost three years ago. But I remind her that everything
happens for a reason and to always be thankful for the good things
in life, especially the miracles. She will always be my little miracle.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System