Thursday, October 4, 2007

Night of the Walking Kate

Since the birth of Kate in December of 2004, things have been rather difficult. First she had to be rescucitated and when they went to bathe her, we discovered she had syndactyly. While still in the hospital, she had a "seizure" and was sent to a Level 1 NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit). She was placed in a phenobarbital coma for essentially six weeks. Lo and behold she was just twitchy, Benign Sleep Myoclonus of Infancy. We almost AMA'd (against medical advice) her because they said she couldn't eat on her own. It's rather difficult when she's only ever been fed through a tube.

With all that, the syndactyly was trivial. She's already had two surgeries to fix one of her hands and she's got at least two more to go.

Earlier this year (April) we went to remove her tonsils and addenoids and put tubes in to prevent the ever present ear infections. She stood on top of the bed waving like a little princess as they wheeled her into the OR.

All went well with the surgery but afterwards it was obvious that she was having trouble breathing. No big deal, we planned on staying overnight. She'd also been diagnosed with asthma, had a bout of RSV and had numerous emergency room visits for her breathing difficulties.

Kris stayed with her and I went home. Around 4:30 in the morning I get a text from Kris, "She's crashing." Then another, "they're bringing in the crash cart!"

I got in the car and raced down to the hospital, not really knowing what to think.

By the time I got there, they had gotten her stabilized. Whew.

Later that afternoon, she coded, twice. The second time the doctor came out and said he had done all he could, that was just before the chaplain showed up...

Somehow she pulled through. We like to say she gave the reaper the finger, Kris suggested it and I thought it was the most appropriate visual. She's a tough little girl.

The next month was spent at the hospital recovering, and recover she did.

This past August, she finally walked:

She's done remarkably well since the surgery, minus the almost dying part. She no longer snores. She gets a cold and doesn't have to go to the hospital. She talks (well, her mother says she does but it's all gibberish to me, I can make out "Daddy" though). In short, wow!

(And finally to the point)
Last night, her brother "snuck" into our bed around 1:30 or so. I told him to go get his pillows because I wasn't sharing. He came back in (throwing the pillows on his mother) and said that Katie was standing at her door.

Me: What?

Me: You're dreaming right?

LC (Little Chet): Nope.

I went to get up and I see this tiny silhouette by the door. It's Kate.

I just started laughing. This was the first time she had ever done such a thing. So the four of us shared the bed last night. LC got kicked a lot by Kate (ah, sweet revenge) and I hardly slept, but it was well worth it. Probably one of my favorite moments of being a Dad.

I'll always remember The Night of the Walking Kate...


Matt said...

Great post - it's good to see the personal side of people. Your dedication to your family is really inspiring. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

What is RSV?

Debbie said...

There's a great country song called "Let 'Em Be Little." Part of it goes: "Let 'em, let 'em giggle, let 'em sleep in the middle. Ah, let 'em be little."

That was truly a magical moment. You (plural) were overdue for one, and I'm glad it finally happened!

oraclenerd said...


I can't pronounce any of that.

Jason said...

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish" - John Q. Adams

What a refreshing post Chet- It’s amazing what can happen when faith and perseverance lead lives!