I get up the next morning around 9am. The first thing I do is to check on Mari. She doesn’t seem to be awake or responsive. I try to wake her up but can’t. I go get the doctor and he comes in to examine her. He can’t get her to respond either. Now, it seems her left side is not moving and he’s not getting any reflexes. It seems like both the left leg and left arm take forever to even get a little bit of response.
The doctor then pulls me aside and asks me, “Do you remember me talking about Mari having possible brain issues?” and I say, “Yes.” He goes on to inform me that the “brain issues” he was talking about was a stroke and it looks like Mari may have had one. I just break down. I cannot believe this. What seemed like a simple case of diarrhea has turned into kidney failure and now a possible stroke. He says she needs to have a CT scan performed and then maybe an MRI to find out for sure.
I call Keith and tell him what I have just been told. We are both just so devastated. He heads up to the hospital immediately. I also call Keith’s mom and dad and tell them as well. They were already planning on coming up to the hospital that morning anyway.
Once Keith arrives at the hospital, he stays in the room and waits for his mom and dad. I go with Mari to get her CT scan. They allow me to stay in the room with her while they perform it. After the scan is completed, I stand there holding Mari’s hand while the doctor and other people take a look at her scans. There is a long window to where you can see everyone looking at the one monitor for the scan they just took and discussing something. It seems like we wait forever before the doctor finally comes in the room and says we can head over to where the MRI will be performed. He will be right behind us but has to go and do something really quick.
So I am now in the MRI area helping Mari get on the MRI cart. I take off all my metal objects (like my earrings, watch and other items) and fill out a form so I can be in there with her. I am cleared to come in the room. I am helping the nurse when the doctor comes back. Both the doctor and the nurse decide to stay in the room with her. Then the doctor tells me the CT scan looks very suspect that she indeed had a stoke but the MRI should be able to confirm it. I just simply break down. I cannot believe it. I cannot even stay in the room and tell them I just need to go back. I need to go and talk to Keith. So they have this woman walk me back to Mari’s hospital room. I get back to the room and Keith’s mom and dad are now waiting in there for us to come back. I walk in and they can tell right away that something is wrong. I tell them what the doctor has told me and we are all in utter disbelief.
The doctor finally comes back with Mari (it seems like we wait forever but it only takes about 20 minutes). He then takes all of us to a consultation room along with the Kidney doctor to let us know what the results have found. He lets us know that it was definitely a stroke. He then goes on to say that both pediatric neurologist at UIC retired on July 1st and he cannot in good conscience keep Mari at his hospital. He feels she needs to be transferred, yet one more time, to Children’s Memorial Hospital. This will be her 4th hospital in 5 days.
The transport services arrive about a half hour after the call is put in to have her transferred. They have two paramedics and two RNs with this service. The doctor tells me if we had to wait 3 to 4 hours he would have gotten the dialysis catheter in immediately so dialysis could have been started as soon as she was transferred.
When we get to Children’s Memorial there are more doctors and nurses waiting for us than I think I have seen to admit one little girl. It is kind of reassuring to know that there are that many people. We are not at the hospital for more than an hour when they take her off to go and put in the dialysis catheter and the central line because they want to immediately start her on dialysis. She is so swollen by now that to feel and look at her skin it is just so tight and puffy. They come back and start her on dialysis within about 3 hours after arriving at the hospital.
The rest of the day seems pretty calm, all things considered. We have family come to see her and we really thought we were going to lose her this day. She makes it through the night and her platelet count seems to finally come up around the 40,000’s. They seem to have stabilized. Mari’s nurse from that night tells me about the Ronald McDonald House and to ask to speak with the Social Worker the next morning about getting us a room there.