12.05.2008

Her Miraculous Recovery


Here is one for the record books, folks. First, Jamie and I need to say that we have been stunned and amazed by everyone who has been following Hazel's story. We went from about 21 hits a day on this blog to about 1,800 hits per day. We have prayer circles going for us in Peru, South Africa, the UK, Japan, Mexico and of course all over the States. A convent in New Jersey, a church in Tuscon, and people in just about every state have been pulling for my kiddo. We have been receiving packages of books, stuffed animals, blankets, balloons, flowers, and toys here at the hospital from people we don't know. We have been contacted by reporters wanting to tell Hazel's story and to help us educate other parents about the dangers of these batteries. Today, a nurse from the Emergency Department here at Children's Hospital came up into our room. She said that a friend of hers had sent her the link to Hazel's blog, and she recognized the johnny that Hazel as wearing as belonging to this hospital! She came up to meet her and to give us A Light In the Attic. When I spoke to Hazel's pediatrician, he had already heard the update on her condition from some of his other patients who had been following the story. It's all so incredible! It just goes to show that once you're a mama, you're every ones mama and all babies are your baby. I feel like there are thousands of mamas in the world, holding Hazel as if she were one of their own. What a lucky girl...

So, it is only now, that Hazel is out of the woods that we have been told how serious her condition actually was. Not that we thought it wasn't serious to begin with, but we thankfully were not told how close to Death's Door she truly was. When we came into the ER here at Children's, and for our first couple of days here, Hazel had an infection in her chest around her heart and lungs called mediastinitis that according to our surgeon, kills half of all people who develop it. We also were only recently told that she had microtears in her esophagus so that it was open to her chest cavity. When I think back to the condition she was in when we came into the hospital here, it terrifies me. I don't think I realized how close we were to the end. Her heart rate was in the 200's, she was on fire and so lethargic that it was difficult to rouse her at all. The surgeon told me about a four-year old boy who had a AAA stuck up his nose for four days, and he lost his whole nose. He said that if you just hold a battery in your fist for a few hours that it will damage the tissue because batteries are designed to leak. After it is removed, the electrical current is still damaging the tissue for some time, with no way to stop it.


So, once the battery was removed from Hazels esophagus, the most severely damaged portion was where the battery was resting. It formed something called an esophageal diverticulum, or an outpouching of the tissue. (Google it to see tons of gross pictures.) This tissue is very thin and delicate and can easily result in a rupture of the esophagus or perforation. The problems that can result from something like that are legion, as one can easily imagine.

The part of this whole thing that is so miraculous is that not only did she come back from the brink of death several times, but her recovery from her injuries since being extubated is truly extraordinary. When Hazel had her extubation/bronchoscopy procedure the other day, the surgeon decided to not look in her esophagus because of how fragile it was, but also because he would not expect to see much change in only one week. He thought that they might go check it out in a month or so to see that things were starting to heal up properly. So today Hazel had her barium swallow to make sure that the microtears had repaired so that she might try to eat from a bottle. You can imagine all of our shock and surprise to hear that not only had the micro tears healed as expected, but that there was no evidence of any esophageal diverticulum. After just over one week, The worst of and most precarious of Hazel's injuries appears to be gone. Incredible, no?


So, Jamie and I aren't really the religious types. We don't have what some might call a "strong faith in god", but one thing I have always believed in is the power of prayer, the strength in numbers, the ability for thought to change human lives. Jamie is starting to come around now, too. After seeing the recovery she has made observable in her behavior and also now on film, I think he might be of the mind that there is something out there, whether you call it god or collective unconscious or something else. Someone was looking out for Hazel; an angel, a spirit, god, mama-love, the brilliant science that saved her, the medical professionals that worked so hard on her behalf. Whatever it is, it worked.

But the thing that makes me pause here is this; there are thousands of kiddos in this hospital just as beautiful and funny and loved as Hazel. There have been just as many prayers and healthy vibes and meditations and healing thoughts for them, but not all of them have been as lucky as us. We have been unfortunate enough to see the deaths of a few kiddos since we have been here in PICU and we have seen people's babies pass on. Just as I am writing this, someone called a code and all of the docs went running down the hall to another room. It breaks my heart that right now someone is as scared as I was when Hazel stopped breathing. I don't understand why we were saved and other babies weren't. I will never understand it and I refuse to have it be be something simply brushed off as "God's Will". It just isn't fair and my heart breaks for them. I wish I could still be ignorant about this whole little PICU world here. We were here for ten nights, but there are families here for weeks and months. Families that come here every month and stay for long, long periods.

Anyway, I just don't think it's fair. Jamie and Hazel and I are so blessed, so thankful and so lucky to have each other for another day, but I can't help but think about the rest.

I can't thank you all enough for caring as much as you do about my baby.


48 comments:

Lu said...

Hi, my name is Lucero. Everybody call me Lu. I´ve being reading about your baby everyday. Here we have praid for you. Your baby and my baby are very similar (hair, face, smile) and i felt your pain like mine.

I wish you all the happiness and peace you need in this moments.

With all my love, from me and my family,

Lu
Mamá de DOS chancletas

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most beautiful things I have seen. I was so happy to hear her little voice. Here's to a speedy recovery and hopefully she will be home in her own crib soon.

Shelley

Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful baby and are blessed with lots of love. The docs at Children's Boston are the best in the world. I am so happy to hear that hazel has done so well.

Gillian said...

The idea of Hazel making a difference of immense magnitude in this world, in her own special way in the future, is what has been running through my mind. This little girl is going to grow up and make a difference. Not only on her own merits (I have every bit of faith in the thought that she is, and will continue to be, very much her own person ...) but the two of you (Amanda & Jamie) are almost ridiculously good parents and should be so very proud of the way you love her. I say "almost ridiculously" because the reality is ALL parents should care for their children the way the two of you do, and will continue to, love her... but not enough parents do. I hope you know, or at least have an inkling as to how remarkable you two are.
Hazel will know, probably sooner than most children realize things like this, that her parents are amazing, strong, intelligent, loving people... just as she has inspired so many with her fight against all that has transpired over the past two weeks... you inspire her... you inspire me... and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. That said... Hazel has indeed been an inspiration as well, even at this young age she has taught HUNDREDS of people a lesson that most, sadly, need to take refresher courses in. There IS power in the collective. There is love that can be given and shared unselfishly. There is hope. There is a chance for miracles to happen, things that science can not 100% disprove. I can not express in words how happy I am to know she is out of the woods.

As for the babies in the hospital, and the parents standing by their side ... my heart goes out to them as well... and will continue to. For those of us that do not have children, and some who probably never will (myself included... that's by circumstance, not choice)... it can be hard to relate to certain aspects of parent/child relationships. This does not mean we are not able to understand the unconditional love, and comprehend the amazing relationship between a parent and their child (or children) BUT we can forget. I won't do it again, all three of you are to be thanked for that.
Thank you.
I have a feeling this Christmas will be the most amazing Christmas ever for the three of you... how lucky for Hazel that she will, starting from her very first Christmas, know that it is a holiday meant to shower one another with love & compassion... not quickly discarded toys and gadgets. (Though don't be shocked when a bunch arrive on your doorstep for her, I have a feeling I'm not the only person contemplating the idea =o) )
All the love in the world to you- Gillian

3D said...

I am SO happy for Hazel and her recovery. What a sweetie! Amazing thing the human spirit and how strong it is.

Keep smilin!

Little Miss Maia said...

I am so, so happy to hear that Hazel is healing so well. Reading what you wrote and watching the video of Hazel just being a baby again just really touched my heart. I guess I just feel really blessed to have met you and your family and to count you as a friend. You are really an amazing woman and your daughter is as lucky to have you as you are to have her.

LISA EMRICH said...

I truly hope that you allow many reporters to tell your story. I've wanted to write something myself on my blog, but didn't want to impose upon your family in that way.

I remember receiving an email from a new mother who had just been diagnosed with MS. I remember the request to share a post in the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Instead of waiting until the next edition, I posted A Mother's Message to Her Baby - the Daughter of a Newly-Diagnosed MS Patient.

You are amazing parents and strong individuals, otherwise how could Hazel have inherited such strength and willpower to live. My very best wishes to each of you. I feel blessed to have been introduced to your family.

Lisa

AlePancha said...

I guess there must be somthing about your little Hazel that makes her so so special...
For all those aching parents and families in pain right now, my heart goes out for them. As for your family, I can only say that we, me and my little family, have learned so much from you, that we can only care and wish wellness for you. Am, for all those months of posting back and forth, of sharing laughs, recipes and fears, I can only say that I really really wish I could hug you, that I wish I could look at you straight in the eye and say that i truly believe you are an amazing mother and women, that you have endured more than I would probably be able to, and that you have become such an inspiration to me. Thank you for letting me into your "world", thank you for sharing so much with me.
We love you guys and we keep you in our hearts.
With love,
Ale, Joaquín y Lalo
www.bebeboton.blogspot.com

Katie said...

Oh I am so happy to read this. I really do believe in the power of prayer and I'm so glad your little girl is doing well!

Jennifer said...

hazel for president 2038

Lisa Roth said...

Hi.
I found your blog from an online mom's group, but then I was shocked to find out you live in my town. That drew me into your story even more than it would have done already.

I am so happy to hear that everything is going so well for you guys.

She seems like a wonderful baby, and you guys have curely been blessed.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful!!!!!!!!

big (((hugs))) from another mom in Massachusetts

cfawcett said...

Wow, that video must have been done right before I walked in to say hi this afternoon. Haha, weird to see it online. I hope Hazel is doing good. I wish you guys the best of luck. Keep in touch.

Your favorite respiratory therapist,

Chris :)P

Yoli said...

I am so happy for Hazel and for you and your family. This is great news.

* M a r u said...

Am, Jamie, I am very very happy to see Hazel playing and "singing". I am sure that she has a huge mission for making a huge difference in the world. Miracles, exists. Of course they do. And Hazel is one of them.

Tons of love and peace for you all...
Maria Eugenia
Miami, FL

heather said...

medical school for Hazel to return the favor someday? ;)
How very scary to find out how dire things were. I'm so glad your story has a happy ending. I hope it does get media coverage. I don't want any baby to have to be next.
Good wishes for continued strong and speedy recovery!

Will Cody Rowe said...

Hi Amanda
It's Jennifer Rowe from Babyfit. I have tears in my eyes as I look at the photos of your beautful Hazel. She is one amazing and strong baby and we are all blessed to have her in our lives.
Much Love
Jennifer and Will Cody.
PS - We can't wait to have you back on the boards - you are missed!

LauraEmma21 said...

Amanda,

Hazel is strong and amazing. What a miraculous story! I have been so worried and praying for Hazel every moment that she pops into my head.

I was so so happy and so humbled when I heard her voice babbling on. It is a miracle, and one that you both deserve.

I hope we all stay in touch for many years.

Laura Valdez

The Q family said...

My friends and family have been praying for your sweet Hazel since we heard your story. I am so happy to see the miracle in your sweet girl's healing. I KNOW without a doubt who healed your sweet girl, for I know Him in a most intimate way. I pray now that He has touched your family with physical healing, He will also begin to make Himself known to you in Spiritual ways as well. For I assure you He is a real and living God! I am so happy to see little Hazel up and happy and talking! It truly is a miracle!

Lisa said...

I am so happy for you and Baby Hazel. I have been following your blog every day in hopes that we would see the very post your posted today. God Bless.

Mazlo family said...

I am so thrilled to read the latest news about your little Hazel. What a wonderful miracle!
Amanda

BabyMakes3 said...

Hi! I am so happy for your family, Hazel and her recovery! She is an amazing little girl who is such a fighter!
I found your blog on the nest and I pray for Hazel everyday since reading your story.
God bless your family and sweet little Hazel. Hopefully, she will be home in your arms soon!

Magoon Family said...

I got chills reading this post. I continue to check for updates and I am so happy to hear that she is doing so well. It's amazing that she has come so far and that the worst of her injuries have healed. God is good and there is power is numbers and prayer. You have a little miracle there. She is too cute and I thank you for the video. We got our Hazel fix today (LOL).

addiebaby said...

This update makes my heart SO incredibly happy. I'm crying tears of joy for you. I hope you get to take your precious girl home soon.

elizabeth said...

I know exactly what you're talking about with the unfairness of suffering, and how hard it is to think of that as "God's will." Precisely the point at which I have departed from the faith I was brought up in. But my heart is bursting with thankfulness for Hazel's recovery; as the first poster said, something in her little face reminded me so much of my own baby that my heart broke open for all of you and I have been thinking about you all nonstop for the past few days. There is some kind of love-energy, I believe, that is real, and can have material effects. I'm so glad I can hardly speak for Hazel's recovery, and how I wish every little one in the PICU could have the same outcome.

Dolors said...

Fantastic news!! I've been reading you all these days and of course your sweet little girl was in my mind and I've been praying for her.I have a daughter of the same age as Hazel I felt your pain like mine.All these updates have been so moving and I'm very very happy to see that she is getting on well .
God bless you and your little (but strong!) girl.

A big big hug from Spain

emily said...

I have continued to follow your story and am so glad to hear how well your baby is doing. Children are so amazingly resilient! What a beautiful baby and I wish you all a continued speedy recovery...I will continue to keep you in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

This is my third day of reading your blog, and I'm so happy that Hazel is getting better and better! I was very touched by your point of view regarding God's will--how very selfless of you; I, too, have always struggled with that notion. A happy hug to you all from a mom in Topsfield (an Armenian mom--I noticed in one of your entries you said something about an Armenian grandmother--I know all about them!)

Lea said...

I have been following your story...the video brought tears to my eyes, to see your beautiful little girl doing so much better.

I will continue to keep her and your family in my prayers.

Hanna's Mommy said...

Amanda, Hazel is truly an amazing little girl and her story is so moving. Your strength has really shined through this and I am impressed with how much you continue to care about others and how big your heart is.
Hazel has already made a difference in so many lives and she is blessed to have such caring wonderful parents.
I truly hope we can meet someday.
I will continue to think of Hazel everyday and hope for a speedy full recovery.
Hugs from Montana,

Cailin and Hanna (from babyfit)

Christie said...

Good job, Miss Hazel! We're all thinking of you, sweetheart and hoping for a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear she is recovering so well. I just recently got introduced to your story. I have been keeping you guys in my thoguhts and prayers ever since. Thank you for posting the video...she looks like she is doing amazing. I bet you both cannot stop hugging and kissing on her!! I am hoping she gets out soon!!

Tracey said...

I found out about your story for the first time today. As I read the first part, tears rolled down my face for the pain of your daughter and your family, people I don't even know. I kept searching for more to see how your angel is doing and here I find that she is on the strong road to recovery! Again, there are many tears, tears of joy that this little girl has pulled through against all the odds! I am so happy for you and your family. Your daughter is adorable by the way, and one precious angel! A very very happy holidays to your family from mine!!

Stephanie said...

Miss Hazel is the angel Amanda. And you and Jamie are so blessed and deserving. She is a miracle. You are my miracle for sharing.

Anonymous said...

it is true. many mamas have held your dear hazel close to them during this time. we have checked our own batteries, forwarded your stories onto those we know and love and sent countless wishes for your little girl into the heavens. mamas are never alone - never. big hugs to hazel!

chase'dmydream said...

I just wanted to jump in here and say Praise God! I just found your story and I admire the strength of both you your husband and Hazel. Thank you for sharing somthing so hard with millions of strangers. Hazel's story will help millions of moms and dads think of hidden dangers such as batteries. Bless all of you and praise God Hazel is recovering.

Kelly said...

I am so happy to hear about Hazel's recovery. The power of the mamas is strong! I will continue to send my thoughts your way until Hazel is comfy at home. What a wonderful holiday this will be for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I only just read about the horrible test that you & family have been & are going through. I remember my daughter's first fever @ 5wks. old, & that tore my heart out! I simply can't imagine the pain and helplessness you felt over this terrible experience! My thoughts and my prayers are with you as your beautiful daughter continues to make a full recovery! Miracles do exist:)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your story. The video is amazing -- she is so active. Just want to send all of my love to you and your family - and I don't even know you! All the very best for your beautiful daughter's recovery. We're all pulling for you.

-Just another momma

Anonymous said...

I read the update from Little Miss Maia's blog. Her Daddy told me where to find it. JOY OF ALL JOYS!!! All our prayers were answered for your beautiful Hazel (and her Mom and Dad). She is a blessed child! I know she was also in the bosom of every grandmother out there as well!
WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL NEWS!
Little Miss Maia's Bapcia, Linda

Swanstein from Babyfit said...

She looks great!! I feel the same way you do about the collective spirit of mamas everywhere and will be continuing to think about you guys as Hazel continues to get stronger.

Molly said...

Hooray! I am so happy to hear that Hazel is recovering miracoulously. I can't wait for the three of you to be able to head home and enjoy being together. I'm so happy for you all.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, this is the most beautiful thing I've read/seen all week. Hazel's video brought tears to my eyes. She is such an amazing baby and she is one hell of a fighter. I am so blessed to "know" you and Hazel. Thank you for letting us in to your life and giving me the opportunity to pray so hard for you, Jamie, and the little doll of yours. I am so happy to see her playing with Jaime. What a blessing. Your post is so well written...what a blessing it is to have you as a babyfit friend/co-mamma!!

So much love your way!!

Tara and Kelan (from babyfit)

Anonymous said...

I am so very happy to hear the good news that Hazel is improving!! God works in many ways, and I think he was definitely there with all of you. God Bless you all and Merry Christmas, Barb from Burlington, IA

Anonymous said...

I am another one of those mamas you reference- I have been following Hazel's story and I am so incredibly thrilled she is recovering so well. You have one amazing baby on your hands. Thinking about you guys- stay strong!
Lauren from New Jersey

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear the Hazel is doing better!

I am thanking God for His miracle! Watching over and wrapping all of you in His arms.

He truly is a loving God!

Blessings to you all.

Valerie said...

I am so relieved to see Hazel's video. Your blog link was posted to my local board on the Nest, and I couldn't imagine the horror you were going through. I am elated for your family that she is doing so well, and I will continue to pray for all of you.

Valerie (valkaz)

Rebecca said...

Oh how we have prayed for Hazel. I am so happy to see the miracle in your her healing. In agreement with another of your posts, we KNOW without a doubt who healed Hazel. Without a doubt we too know Him in a most intimate way. He is making Himself known to you through this experience. God is true and living. Imagine the scope of what He has planned for your lives! Congratulations and we're praying for mom's health, and for dad to sustain as well. Go Hazel!