Friday, October 16, 2009

My Granddaughter, Katie

This email just arrived from my daughter in Seattle.

Today is going to rank up there as one of those days you don't want to remember.

I dropped Katie off at school this morning a happy, healthy almost 16-year-old and found her early this afternoon as a patient in the PICU at Seattle's Children's Hospital. I wish I could say she will be fine, but I just don't know yet and we won't know for at least two days.

Katie collapsed during PE today. At first they thought she had had a seizure, but then she didn't have a pulse and went into cardiac arrest. There were several well-trained school staff close at hand and I am told everyone acted quickly and that the medics arrived in short order. Still the doctors are concerned that there may have been neurological damage from the event and have Katie medically paralyzed and sedated for the next two days....

I did a quick search on cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that affects children and blood flow into the heart.
---It has many many causes, including a virus. Is this an example of H1N1 at work???
---It can be totally debilitating, totally life-threatening, or completely controlled with medications and/or surgical implants. Doctors cannot say which form of treatment, if any, might be successful. There is no real predictor of outcome.
---One variation is sometimes called "Broken Heart Syndrome", a rather dramatic response to stress. That form usually resolves itself within a week. But we're a family with dramatic responses to stress. During the summer that Christie was 14, my own stress response was to try to go blind. ... Fortunately, my vision resolved itself.
---Twice as many children with cardiomyopathy are diagnosed in the first year of life than between the ages of 2 and 18 altogether. What does this say for Katie, who is nearly 16? That hers is not a congenital condition but a response to stress or a virus? That it is more likely to resolve itself than some other forms? That it is congenital, something her doctors have missed for nearly 16 years?
---The website says: Search for a cure continues. Unlike other congenital heart conditions, there is no surgical treatment or cure that can repair the damaged heart or the stop the progression of the disease. The first treatment option is usually medication to improve the functioning of the heart and for those with arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) an implantable defibrillator may be recommended. For children that fail medical management, a heart transplant may need to be considered. Cardiomyopathy is the top reason for heart transplants in children. More than 80% of children receive a donor organ in time and survival after transplantation is good with an intermediate survival rate of approximately 70%.

Please hold Katie, Christie and Meghan in your prayers.

Give thanks for the quick, competent response and quality medical care Katie has received/is receiving. If this had to happen, there are many places in the world -- even in the US -- where she might not have made it to a hospital. Don't forget to pray. ...

1 comment:

  1. Bonnie - Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Katie and the rest of the family! Deb


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