My name is Catina. Children’s hospital has been part of my life for over 13 years. My son Nathan was born with a cleft lip/palette in 2000 and had to undergo surgery with the Cranial Facial team at Children’s.
A decade later, I was pregnant with my second child Emma. After a C-section delivery we found out Emma had some Orthopedic issues. She was born with club foot (right foot) and hip dysplacia. We found out Emma had no right hip socket.
Before Emma even had her 1st hip surgery. She got sick and had a fever. She started having febrile seizures. Within months she had Grand Mal seizures (Grand Mal Seizures involve involutary twitches, and jerks, loss of consiousness, drooling, snoring) more febrile/grand mal seizures, (Febrile Seizures are fever induced. They are similar to Grand Mal but more dangerous cause high fever keeps seizure activity going) and focal seizures (Focal Seizures are minor compared to all of Emma’s other seizures. A very tiny part of the brain is involved in focal seizures. Emma has these if bath water isn’t warm enough. She has twitches and jerks and doesn’t realize it. She is alert and talking during focal seizures. Emma had surgery on her hip twice. A metal plate is in her hip right now. She went through almost 2 years of full body casts, hip harnesses, and foot braces. 90% of the time was in full body casts. Emma would overheat very much in summer months and have Febrile/Grand Mal seizures. We were in the car traveling for over an hour one summer day in 2011 and Emma had numerous seizures in the car. She stopped breathing during one and I had to take her in a gas station cooler while people called 911. We ended up staying in Fox Valley Children’s Hospital. Emma was already in full body cast. So I had to help hold her down, while an IV was put into her head. It was so hard for anyone to help us keep her temperature down because she would get so hot in the casts. At home we always had our central air running. Even in fall.
In 2012 we were blessed and found out that Emma’s right hip socket formed. No more body casts and harnesses. Emma now wears a lift on her right shoe, and has orthodics on her feet seizures, seizures. March 31, 2012 Emma had a series of seizures. She ended up in 3 ER’s in less than 24 hours. Children’s Hospital changed her medicine dosing. She had gone 11 months without seizures.
This past February Emma had a horrible Grand Mal Seizure. She passed out in my arms and lost control of her bladder and bowels. I didn’t even know if she was alive. Children’s Hospital once again saved us. A Neurologist came and saw Emma down in ER and determined Emma needed IV to start getting her temperature down cause her fever and lack of appetite/thirst caused her to be dehydrated. During her time being sick, I had her at 2 other ER’s before Children’s. Neither one had helped hydrate Emma to get fever down.
Honestly, I owe my life to Children’s Hospital. They have helped my child through huge obstacles. We were told Emma may never even walk. And thanks to Children’s Orthopedic team, she runs around as an active 3 year old. And Children’s Nuerology department has helped the amount of Emma’s seizures decline drastically.
Years ago, I had no idea that these horrible things could happen to innocent children. And having the experiences I have had….has been an awakening. And so educational. I hope more people can be proactive and get educated on Nuero science. Statistics aren’t just numbers. These are lives of children. And donating to Children’s Hospital is a great cause to help these children get the care they need.
Catina Fowles, Emma’s Mother