I have had a few requests asking about what happened with my first daughter Katrina (Katie). How/why she passed away.
Here are as many of the details as best as I can put them into words.
This is what she experienced and what we went through for her…
This is Katie’s story.
It was the happiest day of my life when she was born September 8, 2004. I had wanted a child–a daughter for so long! I prayed for a girl and the day we found out she was in fact a girl, I went to the bathroom at the hospital thanked God and literally kissed the floor! It was one of the best days of my life!
The worst was February 26th, 2007.
The heartache began on October 21st, 2006. She had gotten sick just after her 2nd birthday in early October 2006 (she had not been sick before). We took her to the hospital a few times because she was lethargic and did not want to eat enough. They just re-hydrated her and sent her home.
She would do fine for a few days and then start repeating the same pattern.
Finally after being sick for the first time in her life literally on Thursday night all night the 19th of October I took her to her pediatrician on the Friday morning (Oct.20th) and he told me that because of her excessive throwing up all the night before – which had been every 30 minutes literally–she was severely dehydrated and had to go to the Children’s.
I took her to the Montreal Children’s Hospital where they ran multiple tests on her only to request that they admit her. I felt relieved to be on the road to getting answers as to what was wrong with her and agreed to them admitting her which finally happened at 1AM on Saturday October 21st, 2006.
After being there for about 6 days they discovered that she had contracted RotaVirus.
This had basically killed part of her intestine which had ended up rupturing. This rupture caused the infection to collect in a sac near her appendix (we did not know this is happened exactly till later) and she literally looked pregnant.
They did not want to remove the sac right away as it would be too big of an incision. They tried giving her antibiotics to reduce the infection but it only caused it to get worse. Then the worst that they feared ended up happening. The infection ate through the sac and the infection went into her bloodstream and she ended up in the ICU with very tube you can think of hooked up to her.
This in turn led to an operation and to the discovery that the infection had attacked her lower intestine and killed about 25 cm of it which they removed. They originally thought it was her appendix due to location of the sac.
She was then fitted with a colostomy bag and we had to learn over the next month or so how to take care of this and her.
This is a whole other story in itself…!!!!!
They also had to get her to relearn how to eat. She had stopped eating just after being admitted. She was living off of a feeding tube and then Boost shakes.
Finally in the beginning of December I knew that she would make no further improvement in the hospital. I knew she would drink more at home.
I was also having a mental breakdown from living in the hospital for 1.5 months. I was not able to leave the floor unless Jp came for a couple of hours to watch her, which he did at night, so that I could go home for a just a break and regain my sense of home long enough to hold me off till the next day.
It took everything in me, but I convinced them to send her home. When at home I was responsible for giving her the medicine. This had to be given to her through the NG tube into her stomach. This petrified me as if it went down wrong then it would end up in her lungs which would be fatal. A lot of pressure.
After giving her two separate day passes to see her results at home they released her. One of the best but most scariest days of my life. We were now on our own again.
Soon after being released she started throwing up occasionally which ended up happening more often. I was fearing a blockage of her intestine again which they said could happen anytime due to the operation so she went back in for tests on a Saturday morning. It was not a blockage. Instead we found out that her bicarbs we off in her blood. This meant they had to correct them and figure out why they had gone whacky in the first place.
After a few days, they released her when she seemed to remain stable. They requested that she come back to the day clinic until they were satisfied that everything was fine. So we went in everyday only to find out that her blood was going down hill again.
Just when they were going to have to readmit her to reconnect her intestine, I took a chance and gave her more of the one of the adjustable medications. They were surprised to find out that I had solved the problem. She was discharged from the day hospital… This was December 20th. She was home for Christmas and doing great for the next month or so.
She got a couple of minor bugs but nothing more. Then we got the official call that she was to come back in on February 6th to have the reconstruction surgery finally!
She went in for that and it went great. She spent a few days in recovery. She was released on February 10th 2007 and went back for her follow up surgical apt on February 17th.
Her only problem was a MAJOR MAJOR diaper rash. Her poor bottom was a red as a fire engine or a coke can. Other than that she was doing good.
We went home and she continued daycare for half days. On February 26th I brought her in as usual around lunch and then I went back home to work. I got a call around 3PM telling me that she did not look good and had not drunk any Boost yet that day. I said that I would be there in less than 30 minutes. I got a call back 5 minutes later that she was in trouble and I had to get there FAST.
I beat the ambulance! She was almost gone when I got there. She was not breathing on her own within two minutes of the paramedics starting in on her. They worked on her a bit to get her prepared to go to the nearest hospital to us and transported her there. I was the worst front seat passenger that day. Screaming at every driver to get out of the way and let the ambulance through!! We got to the hospital and they tried to bring her back. 30 minutes later they told us they had to stop. She had not been breathing on her own for about an hour and if they did bring her back she would not be the same Katie that we knew and loved.
Jp fell to the floor and just started screaming and rocking.
I just started punching and hitting the head nurse. We took turns holding her for the next two hours and then we were taken home.
You can’t imagine how it felt to leave your daughter behind when you know she is supposed to go EVERYWHERE with you–it is the most horrible unnatural feeling–like leaving a part of your body and watching it as you walk away. I was one of those moms who hardly ever left her with anyone to be babysat except daycare….
The next week was spent planning her funeral and trying to get used to such a quiet house. Too quiet.
This may have all happened 7 years ago now, but I can still see it as if it were yesterday and each time I see an ambulance drive by with lights on I still cry remembering that day and how it feels to be in that ambulance….
I lost my job in the process of all of this. They told me if I couldn’t come back to work by January then not to bother coming at all. I of course couldn’t as Katie was only doing half days at daycare. So no more office job to go back to…
That is how I came to work from home. According to my therapist I wasn’t mentally capable of working in an office for the longest time and I ended up meeting an awesome friend who help me start working at home and I have been doing it for three years now. Best thing in the world. As I can spend as time with Juli as she needs :).
I do have pictures of Katie when she was in the hospital and the ICU, but they may be hard for some to look at. Let me know if you would like to see them and I can revise the post with them in it…..
There are lots more details that I can tell you, but I figured this was a lot for one post. I have more details of her in the hospital and things she experienced. We can save those for another post too.
She was just learning to pucker when she gave kisses and she was just learning to talk.
I was just getting to know her as a person, her personality and who she was going to become… We were just starting to have yes no conversations…