Samantha (also known as Sammy, Sam Cakes, Sam-a-Jama, Samantita, Sam) is a smart, beautiful, fun, loving, and energetic 9 year old girl. With a loving personality and great sense of humor she brings joy to both the Yelenosky and Quiles family! We are heartbroken by the health challenges she has had unexpectedly, but will remain hopeful and have placed our faith in God as he guides the medical team at Lurie's hospital. Here is the story of how our life has changed since Thanksgiving.
11/25/2016 Friday after Thanksgiving Samantha started to exhibit symptoms that one would find typical of the common flu (vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy). With her symptoms increasing in intensity, Marissa's motherly intuition was in full effect and she knew she had to get Sammy to the ER immediately. Mitch and Marissa took Sammy to Edward's hospital concerned but with the hopes that the medics could subside these flu-like symptoms she was experiencing. Edward's placed her on an IV for severe dehydration and diagnosed her with strep throat. Sammy appeared to experience some relief and was talkative and enjoying family that had come to visit. Still in the hospital 11/26/2016, that evening she was even able to enjoy one of her favorite movies, Frozen with her sis Jackie.
The next morning as her older brother, Mitchy, boarded his plane back to New York (11/27/16) and as Marissa and Mitch felt a little more confident that she was on her way to recovery the most unexpected and terrifying thing happened, Samantha’s little heart stopped working and she went into a sudden cardiac arrest. She was administered chest compressions and by the grace of God her heart started beating again. Edwards was unsure of the cause of the sudden heart failure and immediately began intervening further. A respirator and bypass machine was not working for Sammy’s heart. They quickly realized that to save Sammy’s life they needed to transport her to a hospital better equipped in managing severe children’s cases. The decision was made to transport Sammy to Lurie’s hospital in Chicago via helicopter. Unfortunately, the weather hindered this quick transport, and an ambulance had to be utilized. Thankfully, the ambulance arrived at Lurie’s right in the nick of time, because upon arrival Samantha went into another cardiac arrest, with successful resuscitation. And while being transferred to her new room at Lurie’s her little heart failed again. Leaving Marissa, Mitch, Jackie, and other families terrified, shocked, sad, and confused they knew something was not right. Medics quickly began intervening at Lurie’s seeking possible solutions, causes, sources of what was happening to Sammy. The doctors, specialists, nurses, etc… have surrounded her room and not left her side.
Still unsure of what virus/infection/illness has caused this. Sammy’s body became septic and her heart extremely weak. Blood pressure was inconsistent and difficult to maintain at a normal level. Her vital organs are being damaged by this blood toxicity with no known cause. She was connected to a bypass machine that would assist her heart and lungs in keeping her alive and would increase her chances of survival from 5% to 50%. Her little heart was initially working with the machine and our hope in her survival continued. Dr.’s told Marissa and Mitch that she is the most critical child in the entire hospital. The machine continued to do the job of her lungs and heart while medics try to figure out how else they can save her. They are unsure of why her heart stopped working with the machine. They have made two predictions: 1. Her heart has been stunned by all the interventions and treatments they are attempting – they are trying everything at the moment because they do not know what it is OR 2. Her heart really did die. Nonetheless, the machine continued to work alone for her heart and lungs. The machine although the most critical piece of her survival right now presented a new, very scary, reality for Sammy and the family. As the machine re-routes and circulates blood to her vital organs and parts of her body that are most necessary for survival, it has significantly decreased the amount of blood circulating through her limbs. Dr.’s said she is at a high risk of losing limbs. Her legs turned purple and were cold to the touch. The Dr.’s proposed adding another line to the machine that would increase circulation to her legs. They tried this and it helped slightly, but not enough to remove the threat of amputation. However, the Dr.’s were clear when they said their goal is to save her from the waist up – and the family understands. However, the medics are doing what they can to save all of her.
At the end of the day on 11/27/2016, after hours and hours of news and updates that weren’t promising, the family continued to call upon our Father and he heard us clearly. Sammy was finally connected to the dialysis machine, they anticipated major complications, but Sammy had none and the dialysis is working to clean out her blood. Within the first 30 minutes her blood toxicity level dropped one point.
11/28/2016- Her legs did not show enough signs of improvement- Dr.’s decided on an open heart surgery. Unsure of the results and terrified to lose her during the surgery, they knew they had to proceed. She was experiencing the results of a myocarditis virus.
Updates from the Open Heart Surgery:
3pm Sammy prepped and Surgery started- family given an approximate time of 4 hours for surgery to finish.
3:45pm Nurse came back in and said the tubes are in the heart arteries and they are workign to close all
4:20pm Surgery done. Blood flow in heart arteries and all flow restored – PRAISE GOD!
5:58pm Surgeon reports that her legs are already looking better. We remain hopeful!
2:30am – Mitch and Marissa were told that Sammy’s heart started to work. The heart has helped
raise her blood pressure and increase circulation to her legs.
Here is her go-fund me page created by Mitch's best friend Mark and his wife. https://www.gofundme.com/9j-samanthas-angels
If you are interested in helping the family with meals, or other activities a schedule of their needs can be found:https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/we-heart-Sammy