The worst night in the PICU.

Thanks to Facebook and a personal timeline we kept of Scarlett’s hospital stay. I am very aware that one year ago today was probably the worst night Scarlett had in the PICU. Which says a lot as she had many bad days. I can honestly remember like it was yesterday. The crash cart was outside her hospital room 928 for almost 18 hours. We were discussing flying her out for ECMO as a last resort to save her life. It’s never good to have 10 nurses and the PICU Intensivist in your room all night long. Amazingly, in the 24 hours prior to Scarlett having this large pulmonary hemorrhage her physician in the PICU had a very brilliant plan that probably saved her brain function. Her doctor gave Scarlett extra blood than would normally be expected to get her hemoglobin high so that in the event her O2 sats would drop her heart would keep pumping oxygen rich blood to her vital organs and brain. I sat at the edge of her bed surrounded by staff working fiercely on Scarlett. I watched as blood just kept emanating from her ET tube. Her O2 sats dropped twice into the 50s and hung in the 60s for awhile, but her pulse remained strong. I don’t believe in coincidences as only one hour earlier I was reading a scripture my dad had marked in the bible that my husband had brought from home. Luke 8:50 says. “Don’t be afraid, only believe and she shall be made well.” I think I repeated this over 50 times that night. I absolutely believe that prayer helped save Scarlett, but I also know that everyone that took care of her were supposed to. She had the most amazing nurses. There were four PICU Intensivists that rotated with her and I can whole heartedly say that each one had a hand in saving her life. I look at her now and I am completely amazed that she is cognitively intact. I think that is the biggest miracle of all. Not only did she survive being in critical condition for three months, but she remembers her life before, during, and after her hospital stay. She is one intelligent little girl. She wants to be a “baby doctor” when she grows up. I feel guilty that deep down I’m not sure I want her to do anything stressful, but that’s not up to me. Sometimes I don’t think that anything could stop Scarlett. She is the most determined 4 year old I know. I had a moment tonight when I was so frustrated that she was trying to debate me about her bed time, then I became very aware of the fact that she gave me a very intelligent 4 year old reason of why she should stay up late. The “one year ago today” reminds me of how fortunate we are to have our spunky Scarlett still with us today and thriving!

2 thoughts on “The worst night in the PICU.

  1. Scarlett is a remarkable child. I can see her being a dedicated doctor one day, and I believe that her illness will make her a better doctor! As you indicated she will let nothing stand in her way of doing what she believes in. I think she gets a lot of her determination from you Becky. You have worked hard to become well qualified in the medical field. It helps you understand Scarlett’s problems and deal with her so well. God is so wonderful to prepare us for whatever we face in the future. Little Scarlett is fortunate to have you for her mother! You helped all the other nurses and doctors care for her in such a magnificent way. I personally thank you for sharing your family’s story and sweet Scarlett’s journey with us.


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