Late last summer, Scarlett was receiving what would be her last chemotherapy to treat her lupus when Hillery walked into our hospital room and asked me if I was interested in Scarlett being the regional Children’s Miracle Network Champion. I already knew that her doctor in the PICU had nominated her months before, but did not yet know the outcome. I will never forget Dr. Mauriello telling me that he still believed Scarlett was a miracle as she was placed back on the oscillator for the fourth time and was still holding her as a nomination even when things were not in her favor.
Yesterday, Scarlett was recognized at a fundraising event, Sweet Miracles. Our family had the opportunity to make a speech to the 200+ in the audience. I kept it short and sweet. However, afterwards all I could think of was the oscillator… when Scarlett went into cardiac arrest on 2/21/18 at Trinity Hospital in Minot, efforts to stabilize her on a conventional ventilator were quickly aborted when she became extremely hypoxic when the code team tried to place her on the ventilator. Initially Sheldon was going to fly with her to Sanford Children’s as I was 7 months pregnant, but when she could not tolerate the vent, the decision was made that she would fly out with four flight nurses taking turns manually bagging her until they got to the PICU. When Scarlett arrived in Fargo she still could not tolerate a regular ventilator and had to be placed on the oscillator. I have had several people ask me what the oscillator is. It is a ventilator that delivers about 300 breaths per minute. It is loud. It was my nemesis. As long as Scarlett was on it, she was critical. She was on the oscillator for 43 days which I was told is a record for Sanford Children’s.
On Scarlett’s oscillator, there was a sticker that stated “purchased with funds from the Children’s Miracle Network.” At the time I did not know much about the Children’s Miracle Network except that their sticker was on a piece of medical equipment that helped save Scarlett’s life. I am forever grateful to those that donate to CMN Hospitals. After spending 118 days in the PICU I saw many other kids come and go. Not every child gets to leave the hospital with their family. Our family is also forever grateful to the PICU intensivists, specialty MDs, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, OT, and many more. Without those involved in her care, she wouldn’t be here today raising awareness for lupus and money directly helping kids in our state. Scarlett is our ND Champion. Despite everything she has been through and the future struggles ahead for her I still believe that everything must happen for a reason. There is definitely a plan for Scarlett’s life that I don’t know about yet. Keep going my sweet girl!