Submitted by Ashley Trammell Rasberry
When I was 12 I had my appendix removed at Lakeview Community Hospital. But my condition continued to worsen. I was in and out of hospitals from September - November. I continued to get weaker and before long I was unable to move on my own. On Dec. 5, 1998 I awoke with bruises covering my body. I was then airlifted to Children’s Hospital. I later found out I was the first one to ride on their new helicopter.
I was admitted into PICU where I remained for about 45 days. On the night I arrived around 7 p.m. they were unable to get a pulse reading. Then around 2 a.m. they finally got my pulse. I was hooked up to multiple antibiotics, due to the fact they could not find what was causing all of my problems. I was in a coma for almost two weeks. During my time in ICU I suffered from congestive heart failure, collapsed lungs, and I was losing a large amount of blood. It was discovered there was a hole in my intestines and the bacteria had leaked into my body and caused septic shock.
I have a lot of scarring where the bacteria ate through my skin. My family was called in on three different occasions during my stay in ICU because the doctors did not think I would live through the night. They told my family that I had a very slight percent of living but they would do all they could. After having my colon removed and regained a little strength I was moved to the burn unit where I finished up my 4 month stay at Children’s Hospital.
My skin was like parchment paper and my skin had to heal before I had skin grafts. I had multiple skin grafts and lesions on my legs that had eaten to the muscle that had to heal from the inside out. While in the burn unit I had to learn to sit up, stand, and walk all over again. I received physical therapy every day while we waited for my skin to heal. I still think of the day when I entered Children’s feeling like my body was on fire but as soon as the doctors saw me and gave me medicine the first thing I said to my mommy was that they have wonderful people here because they made me quit burning.
I entered Children’s on Dec. 5 and they gave me a big going home party on March 17. I became known by everyone in ICU and the Burn Unit as there miracle child. I still have a close relationship with the doctors and nurses at Children’s and they will ALWAYS be a special part of my life. There will never be enough words to express how much Children's means to me and my family. There is no doubt they gave me back my life and gave my mom and dad back there child. They saved me and I am thankful for that EVERYDAY.
I may have a lot of scars but each day as I look at them I am reminded of Children’s and I think where I would be without that wonderful hospital. I look at my scars as my battle wounds and I am glad to have every one of them. My mother did not leave the hospital the entire time—not one day. She slept beside me when she could and when she couldn't I knew she wasn't too far away if I needed her. My whole family spent Christmas in the waiting room there on the third floor. My family thinks the world of Children's Hospital and the wonderful doctors there.