Thursday, November 17, 2005

Saving Arden

Arden's journey led us to NC Children's Hospital nearly four years ago when my beautiful 5 1/2 month old chubby, healthy, thriving daughter awoke with a cough. By the evening she was having trouble breathing, and my husband and I found ourselves panic-stricken while driving to the nearest hospital.

At the hospital, she was failing. She was placed on a ventilator and we were told that Arden's right lung had collapsed. The next day we were told her right lung had not collapsed - she did not have a right lung. Our response was, "Well, she had a right lung when she came in here."
No one could understand what was going on with Arden, but one thing was certain, she was complex and critical.

She was rushed to NC Children's hospital where they diagnosed her with long stem tracheal stenosis (her airway was greatly narrowed) and pneumonia - which brought on the cough.
She was hour to hour whether she would live for two weeks.

The PICU stood by her side and never gave up on her.

Arden was lifeflighted to have reconstruction surgery on her trachea and then came back to NC Children's Hospital for a lengthy recovery which included 2 cardiac arrests, seven incidents were she had to be revived - five of which I stood by her side and witnessed. She was incredibly fragile.

She had to have a tracheostomy to help ensure her survival if she coded at home, and she also had to have a g-tube - feeding tube placed in her stomach. Arden came to the hospital January 23 and returned home in late June. that was one long night for me and my husband.

Since her lengthy hospital stay, the staff at NC Children's Hospital has worked by our side to provide Arden with the tools she needed to survive and thrive. They Empowered my husband and I with the education we needed to help Arden.

Now Arden is four, in preschool, taking ballet and tap and thriving. She is high spirited, funny and loving, and I am lucky to be her Mom!

Arden's condition cannot be linked genetically. There was nothing that happened to her while she was in utero. There was nothing I ate or took while pregnant with Arden that caused her to be the way she is. We have no family history of major illness. We could be your neighbor.

What happened to Arden could happen to anyone. There is no Us and Them in Arden's story. We are not "those" people. For that reason, we all need to come together as a community and support the NC Children's Hospital for Our children.

Please show your sense of community spirit and your compassion by donating just $25 to the place that helped us save Arden.

Thanks!!
-Arden's Mom, Laurie

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dea Wells said...

Laurie, Byron, Bronwyn and Arden, you each have been an inspiration to me as your neighbor especially during my recovery from Leukemia. Your family has come out stronger and I see each milestone that Arden makes and I enjoy sharing each of those moments. You are all truly inspirational.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurie,
Thanks for sharing this powerful story of love, determination, grace, and world-class medical care! Your words will be a comfort to those in similar situations, and make all parents thankful that through the Children's Hospital care like this exists.

We are indeed fortunate to have the Children's Hospital--and to have you and your family--in our community!

2:24 PM  

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