First let me say - as not to torture you - Gavin is holding on as I write this. 2:30am Thursday.
Second let me say - It is 2:30am so this will be pretty scattered.
Third let me say - thank you. The support and love on Facebook and in my email and in my neighborhood has been unbelievable.
When today began, I would never - in a MILLION years - been able to predict how it would end. Gavin woke up with his allergy eyes and a nose filled with boogies. I put him in the bath first thing and decided that we'd all stay home from school. Gavin was happy - he loves his bath.
Gavin, Brian, Miss Sara and I decided to pay Dr. Kang, our acupuncturist, a visit today. I was hoping she could help me with the boys allergies. Even Brian started sneezing when Spring arrived so early. Since I kept the boys home from school, I was able to call and reschedule my appointment for earlier. We fed the boys an early lunch and headed over. Gavin was fine.
Dr. Kang treated Gavin first - with just acupressure and back massage. While I was holding him, I noticed he was warm. I thought I'd just give him some Tylenol as soon as we got home - we wouldn't be there long. Then Brian got his treatment. His first time getting acupuncture needles. I sat with him while Sara cuddled with Gavin in the waiting room.
Something told me to check on Gavin. I went out to the waiting room and switched with Sara. She went back with Brian and I sat with Gavin - who I noticed was getting more lethargic. Then he started to gag and we made it to the bathroom as he threw up. It was then I decided to shut it all down and head across the street (literally) to bring Gavin to visit his pediatrician. I thought that they could give us a dose of Motrin for his fever and just check him out before we headed home - 15 minutes away. When I called - they were out to lunch. So I decided to go even closer than across the street - to the Emergency Room.
We got into the emergency room and the doctor said he expected to give Gavin a dose of Tylenol, fluids and send him home in an hour. Just as they finished giving the Tylenol suppository, I saw Gavin go into a seizure. His eyes became fixed, his color changed and he was unresponsive. The nurse called for help and within a minute or less it seemed the whole hospital was there. His temperature was 105.
Within minutes after that, Gavin went into full cardiac arrest. Seeing a doctor on the gurney doing chest compressions is not something I ever want to see again. But that wouldn't be the case...
Ed made it to the hospital. Sara had Brian out in the waiting room. The doctor asked Ed and I to come out into the hallway and wait in the little tiny room. Hell no. I know what happens after you go into that little tiny room. We waited in the hall. It wasn't long before we were approached by the doctor again, telling us we should probably come in to say our goodbyes. It was likely that Gavin wasn't going to make it. But if they did get him stabilized again, they would medevac him to the hospital we take Gavin for everything - A.I. DuPont.
At this point, I was still "Laser Focus" Mom - as I always am when Gavin has an emergency. I never want him to sense fear from me - see tears fall from my eyes - and I was very, very aware that Brian would need me. Ed and I went in to talk to Gavin... and then I made my way to Sara and Brian in the waiting area.
"Brian, Gavin is very sick. The doctors are with him in his room trying to make him all better. He's going to be going on a helicopter ride - how cool is that? Do you want to come back with me to say goodbye before he goes?"
I couldn't think of anything else to say. I didn't cry. I tried to stay upbeat and calm even though I was shaking and terrified and angry and hopeless. I carried Brian back in my arms while Sara walked behind us. I was SO, SO proud of Sara for holding it together even though I KNOW she was falling apart, too. It was (and is) so important to me that Brian have a sense of normalcy until this is over.
I walked Brian up to Gavin on the gurney - he was intubated and had IVs and looked pretty awful. But Brian has seen Gavin looking pretty awful in the hospital before. I just kept thinking - if Gavin does die, I want Brian to know that he said goodbye. I was trying to think of Brian's future - trust me, it's a lot of pressure. I just don't want to ruin his life because of how we handle this.
Brian clung tightly to me at first and I reminded him that Gavin was very sick. He whispered to me, "Is it his allergies?" No, buddy - it's not his allergies. We don't know why he's sick, but the helicopter will take him to the hospital so the doctors can help him. With that, I sat him on the side of Gavin's bed and he whispered in his ear. I don't know what he said to his big brother, except I heard "I love you" at the end. It ripped my heart in two.
I walked him out and Sara and Brian took off for home. Thank God she was there. Thank God she is who she is. She is now at our house sleeping over while we're here with Gavin. All night I got reports that Brian was doing fine - loving the one on one attention. He didn't even ask any questions or appear nervous about anything - thank God.
Meanwhile, Ed and I jumped in his car and raced home for a quick second to pack bags and get our chargers and hug Brian one more time. The chopper made it to the hospital - calling my cell just as I requested when they landed. Gavin had remained the same - no better.
When we got to the ICU, we couldn't go back to see him for a good 45 minutes. An hour drive - torture. The 45 minute wait - also torture. They were trying to put in an arterial line, which is a sterile procedure, and they were working on stabilizing him.
Once we got back to see him, we were greeted by a whole team of people. Around 7pm they decided he was "stable enough" to be taken for a CT scan. Just as they started packing him up, he went into his second cardiac arrest. Again he was given compressions and medication and they had to shock him before he came back to us.
Soon after, my Mom and sister arrived. I walked out to greet them only to get a call from Ed to come back. He had gone into cardiac arrest again. We are obviously very worried about the damage this is causing to his little body - it's all too much to handle or even think about.
The Cardiologist is confused at this point. Gavin is having arrhythmias that they typically see in adults - not kids. They did another cardioversion using shock and it helped a little to get Gavin's heart back into normal rhythm, but not for long. He's still experiencing abnormal rhythms, high blood pressure, high heart rates and he's still completely unresponsive even though he's not receiving sedatives to make him so...which is not good.
Just a couple hours ago, he finally got that CT scan. I thought that it might tell us about brain function, but I was wrong. It's more of a quick picture to see if Gavin has any brain bleeds, masses, etc. The CT scan came back clean. It's an MRI that will determine brain function - and that is not high on the priority list at the moment. They are most concerned about his heart.
Gavin hasn't responded to anything since his first cardiac arrest at our local hospital. His eyes remain open and drifting. At one point his pupils were two different sizes which made me fear the absolute worst - but now they're back to normal which just adds to this freaking roller coaster ride we're on.
In a few moments they will kick us out of the room for another sterile procedure. They will attempt to insert another line in the artery in his neck - a central line. This is so they can give stronger medications. They will also do a lumbar puncture - they're wondering if it's possible he has meningitis.
As usual, Gavin is a total mystery to everyone but God. He is holding on by a thread this morning and I am so, so grateful for the outpouring of prayers, love and support. If you've been reading our story - even for a couple weeks - it's hard not to root for my son. He's overcome more than most grown ups in his short five years. This was not supposed to be part of his story. I know that Gavin has big things in store for this world - and dying at 5 is not one of them.
It's just not.
Please continue to pray for my sweet little boy. And please, please pray for his brother. Brian needs Gavin. And so do we.