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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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MRSA! (Part One)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A boy battles a rare staph infection that threatens his very life. This is his story, as told by his heartbroken mother.

Image (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

It all started innocently enough: an accidental kick in the knee while Grant was playing basketball with some friends.  

Who knew it would land  him in the hospital, where he is now fighting for his very life?

Yet that is exactly what happened.  And I am scared that I won't have my son much longer: right now he is in very critical condition and things don't look very good.  And what's worse?  Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  I don't want to lose my son on Mother's Day of all days; that would be far too much for me to bear!

Two days ago, Grant (he's twelve, my oldest child) was playing basketball with some friends and one of his friends accidentally kicked him square on the kneecap.  He went down like a poled ox, but he got back up and went right back to playing after hobbling around for a few minutes, but it was nothing to be worried about.  At least it wasn't broken; but his knee would probably sport a big time bruise for several days.  

We didn't think too much of it, but that night, Grant woke up complaining of worsening pain in his knee and he said he felt hot, then cold.  I checked for a fever: he had a rather high fever; when I checked his temperature, I was startled to see the thermometer was registering over 103 degrees: his temperature was 104.5.  Way too high for anybody, but especially a child.

I then saw his leg.  Not only was the knee puffed up to twice its normal size: his entire leg was red and hot to the touch.  Grant was rolling around on the bed, moaning in pain.  "Make it stop, Mommy", he moaned, "it HURRRTS!"

I knew something bad was going on.  I told Doug (my husband) that I was running Grant to the Emergency Room because something was obviously very wrong with him. 

At the ER, I was dismayed to see that it was full.  It would probably be a while before Grant would be seen.  I had him sit in a wheelchair and wrapped him in a blanket.  By now, Grant was shivering uncontrollably and was complaining that he was nauseated.  I got him a basin that he could vomit into, which he did, several times.  He was complaining that he was freezing cold and I could see goosebumps popping out all along his arms.

We waited at least  1 1/2 hours before Grant was finally called to the back.  I wheeled my son to Room #4; a nurse took his blood pressure, and recorded his weight, height, and symptoms.  She affixed EKG pads to his chest and another nurse put an oxygen tube under his nose and around his ears; she told him to breathe as normally as possible.  Grant didn't really care at this point; he was feeling worse than ever.  

I held Grant's hand while we waited for a doctor.  When he came, he examined him and seemed puzzled by his knee/leg; it was now an angry purple-red in color and it looked like a sausage that was ready to burst.  He took a sample of blood from it and also had the lab technician take some blood from his arm, where they would then run tests and see exactly what was going on with Grant and why he was so sick.

The results came back an hour later.  It was not good.  It turned out that Grant had MRSA, which would mean one thing: certain death or multiple organ failure if treatment wasn't started right away.  They called for a bed in the PICU, to see if one was available, and the doctor informed me that Grant would have to be in isolation.  He was desperately sick; there was a fairly good chance that he could go into shock, multiple organ failure, or even die, even with the best of treatment.  His vital signs were already starting to become crappy and Grant was rapidly growing worse.

By now, he was gasping for air and was starting to go into a seizure.  It was terrifying to see Grant suffering like he was.  That was when the doctor told me to go into the hall to wait; he would get back to me as soon as possible.

Flashforward, two days later:

Grant is, amazingly, still alive, but he remains in extremely critical condition.  He has improved a little, but so many things can still happen.  He is not out of the woods yet.  They have him in a medically induced coma and if anybody was to visit him, they would have to gown up; if anybody was sick, they could not see Grant because that would only compromise his already precarious situation.  

I see him for maybe ten minutes, twice a day; when I do, I talk to him and pray desperate prayers to Heaven, asking God to spare Grant's life, and to heal him.  I don't know if He's listening because Grant is still in a very bad way.  All he does is lie there while life-giving fluids and antibiotics continuously pour into his body, machines monitoring his lifesigns, and not moving unless doctors or nurses call his name or ask him to wiggle his fingers or toes, or run tests on him, to see how his neurological functions are.  It is very discouraging.

I have been keeping Doug and our other two children (Shelbi and Ryan, ages 10 and 8) informed about Grant's latest status in the PICU, and I have asked our church family to lift us up in prayer.  Meanwhile, I stay in the PICU waiting area, with several other families, and continue to pray for a miracle for my child.  I don't know what the outcome is going to be, but one thing IS certain: I don't deserve to spend Mother's Day in a hospital waiting room, not knowing whether my oldest son is going to make it or not!

~To be continued.~ 

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Reviewed by Jamie Carter 6/23/2012
My son was diagnosed with MRSA at 10 days old. It is a very frightening experience, and a long recovery. I hope he is doing better.
Reviewed by Paul Berube 5/13/2012
Well told but sad, Karen.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 5/12/2012
Hope Grant gets better ... gonna be a long road ahead. Well done, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 5/12/2012
Scary Stuff!!! Well done story though!!!
In Christ's Love

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