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Tabitha Update -section one

Tabitha is doing pretty okay right now. Tabitha still has a lot of ongoing health issues and has had a lot of challenges that she has overcome and some new challenges that she is learning to overcome. Tabitha still has a great attitude towards all of it. Tabitha didn't just loose her legs she has had a lot of major health problems from the toxic shock and the result of all the trauma and organ failure her body went through. Tabitha's life has been such a blessing to be a part of. We of course have good days and bad but the good days seem to outweigh the bad. So many things are different now and we are learning to take each day as a blessing and a gift from God.

Tabitha is currently having some heart and lung issues that are getting worse and becoming a little challenging at times. She tires easily and it takes so much effort to do things now. Its hard to do things without her having chest pain or making her heart beat to fast and then she starts having oxygen issues. So we are slowing down until we get a handle on whats going on. The doctors are currently working on that and they have said this could be just damage from all the trauma her heart and lungs went through or some other health issues. Tabitha's body went through a great deal of trauma. During her hospital stay when all this happened I was by my daughters side and in constant prayer for her to live and to know who her family was. My oldest sister (not Katie the one I live with) was giving at the time the medical updates for us as we were busy by Tabi's side. My sister meant well and was always upbeat but that gave the wrong impression about Tabitha's health sadly. We had people call us in the hospital and ask to speak with Tabitha but Tabitha was most of the time fighting for her life and was not conscious at all let alone able to hold a conversation. So I will be giving the mini version of what happened to her and what they found out about the cause. I will be writing this in a few different sections so it's not to much at once. So here is a mini summary of what happened.

Section One-

Tabitha was giving out food boxes the wednesday before Thanksgiving and got home kind of late, tired and soaking wet. I told Tabitha to take a hot shower and then go to bed and get some rest. She woke up the next morning which was Thanksgiving morning (2012) with a fever and flu like symptoms. So we decided to do Thanksgiving on Monday. Tabitha woke friday morning with only a low grade fever and feeling much better. She wanted to go to a christian concert but me being a mom said not a good idea so she stayed home. That Saturday morning Tabi wrote on her Facebook page how thankful she is that she has a mommy ( yes, mommy she has always and still does call me that) that takes care of her when she is sick. Later that morning she started getting her high fever back and she said she was feeling weird she had started vomiting and feeling very ill very fast. She couldn't stand up at all, my sister and I had to carry her to the bathroom. Tabitha couldn't see straight or walk at all and said she feels like she was dying and saw black spots. So I called her doctors office advice nurse and I told her Tabi's symptoms and she told me to hang up and call 911. I told Tabitha that she was going to have to go to the hospital. So we thought maybe she was dehydrated? We carried her downstairs and she laid on the couch she wanted me to wash her hair and change her shirt before she goes I said I will change your shirt and brush your hair only as Tabitha was not looking that good and so I called 911 and 2 ambulances came to our house very quickly. They came in and looked at her asked her symptoms they didn't take any vitals as she didn't look that ill to them and they said she probably had a bladder infection and asked if we wanted to go to the salem hospital or corvallis. So we took a few minutes me and my sister and thought hmm which one? We did not know at the time my daughters health was in serious trouble. So we said Salem because we have been there and knew our way around. The ambulance EMT just picked her up and put her on the stretcher and said they would meet us there no worries. I wanted to wait and follow the ambulance but I thought I was being to over cautious so we headed to the hospital. We got to the hospital I went to the ER and told them my daughter arrived in an ambulance and needed to go back there and be with her. They told me they haven't arrived yet and not to worry. I thought thats weird we beat the ambulance. I thought maybe they got stuck in traffic or something. I told them I will wait for them to get there and I would be in the gift shop getting coffee and such. So me, my sister, Cassi and Benji were wandering looking at the stuff in the gift shop waiting for them to tell me she was there but time went by and I got very concerned they didn't call for us. So I went to the desk again and they said they were looking for me and needed me asap. I thought they wanted to know allergies or something. So they took us back and there was the ambulance driver saying I'm so sorry over and over a few times with a sad look on his face and then I heard Tabitha screaming for me "Mommy it hurts! Mommy I need you! HELP ME!" There were about Ten people in there all around yelling they pushed me to the side and told my sister to take the kids and wait in the waiting room. I watched in horror as my daughter screamed my name and then all I heard was a gurgling sound of "mommy help!" then silence from her . Little did I know that was the last time I heard my daughters voice until months later.

They were tipping her upside down they put a breathing tube in and they were jumping off and on her they took her to cat scan and the nurse gave me her sack of clothes and told me to call my family because she wasn't going to make it. So I was sat at a small brown desk and given a hospital phone and a cup of orange juice. I could see them doing a cat scan and yelling. I was in a state of shock by then. They asked what happened I told them she had what I thought was a flu. The doctor said he hasn't seen someone that sick in the 25 years he has been there. The doctor just kept saying over and over I am so sorry if I only had brought her in sooner. She wasn't that sick at all. I couldn't bring her in sooner because she wasn't that sick the ambulance EMT even said no big deal maybe bladder infection. The doctor just kept saying that like he didn't believe me. I said you can look at the statesman journal paper as her picture was in it from giving out food boxes that was only days ago. The doctors were baffled they didn't know what had happened or what caused this sudden illness. Tabitha had heart function problems and her heart wasn't working properly and they said it was only working at 15% and then she went into multi organ failure and she was put on life support. They came back and said they did everything they could and to come say goodbye to her. I was in such disbelief this happened so fast. They said her body went into toxic shock and her organs had failed with her heart and lungs. She had heart failure which caused lack of oxygen to her brain and then she had multiple strokes. She had blood clots form in her main arteries and in her brain. There was a doctor there that night at the ICU that heard about ECMO. I had no idea such a machine existed or even what is was. They said that was our only hope as life support wasn't working. She had no other health issues and was a good candidate for it. The ECMO machine can't fit on a life flight helicopter so they have a mobile van and a team of doctors and nurses that had to come down. My daughter lay in the salem hospital ICU getting worse by the minute and having her brain get damaged from not proper heart function and oxygen problems. The longer we waited the less of her chances for living. Hours went by then finally the elevators opened up and a whole team of doctors and nurses and all this equipment and stretchers came out.They had to do the procedure there of placing her on ECMO and then they could transport her up to portland. They told me to meet them up at the hospital in portland and we will go from there so we said our goodbye and prayed that she would stay alive . I was still in shock and physically ill from all the stress of my daughter dying . I couldn't make sense of what just happened.

We finally arrived there and found out Tabitha was still with us and made it through the trip up there. So we thought the worst was behind us and we will be okay because Tabi is on ECMO and should get better from there so we thought.

The other parts of this mini summary will be posted in sections this week.