I wanted to take the chance to tell a bit of our story, say thank you, and testify to God’s work during Ivy’s hospitalization.
On Thanksgiving Day we woke up at my sister’s place in Almanor. It was a normal day. We took a walk as a family. The cousins played together, and Ivy was her happy self.
Just after we finished our Thanksgiving meal, I went to breastfeed Ivy. She ate normally, but just a few minutes after eating, she started screaming and arching her back. I couldn’t figure out why she was being so fussy, so I asked Mark to come help me.
Just a minute or two later, Ivy started throwing up. After throwing up, her body went completely limp. A few minutes would pass, and she would throw up again, but from that point on she remained completely lethargic and limp. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew she was sick. I remembered our pediatrician said that some illnesses can happen very quickly with babies, so I told my family something was wrong with Ivy and I wanted to go to the ER.
By God’s grace, the clinic we looked up on our phones in Chester was only about 10 minutes away. After being in the tiny emergency room in Chester, it quickly became apparent that there was something very wrong with Ivy, but nobody there had appropriate experience with such a small child (5 1/2 months old). They made the decision to call a helicopter, and UC Davis Medical Center was receiving pediatric emergency patients.
I was so relieved to find out they would let me ride in the helicopter with Ivy. But Mark wasn't allowed to, so as the helicopter took off, my parents and Mark went to grab some items from our cabin and make the drive to Sacramento.
Once we landed, everything happened very quickly. Within a few short minutes, someone was able to start an IV on Ivy, which was such a relief, because she had already been poked many times by the Chester Clinic and the flight nurses with no results. After the pediatric emergency team looked her over, they told me she needed a CT scan.
I thought to myself, “How on earth would they know that?” I thought maybe she just got overtired and a case of the flu. They got her into the scan immediately, and then a male nurse came over and told me, “I’m so sorry to tell you that your daughter’s brain is full of blood. We’ve found bleeding in her brain.” I didn’t have any concept of what this even meant. Just a few minutes later they were putting a breathing tube in, preparing Ivy for an emergency surgery to place a drain in her brain to help get the blood out. I am so thankful for that emergency team and for the neurosurgeon who operated on Ivy that Thanksgiving night.
Being in the pediatric ICU was extremely hard. I was constantly afraid that Ivy would take a turn for the worse and that we would lose her. There were lots of other fears, too.
I want to say that Mark and I were barely surviving those days, we felt like we couldn’t pray. But we knew that countless were praying on our Ivy’s behalf in Chico, in California, in states all over the U.S., in Thailand, in China, in Nepal, in Canada and in Germany. I believe God responded to prayers, and I believe some important decisions made by doctors were influenced by the Holy Spirit.
Ivy’s blood in her brain took longer to drain than usual, and the doctors decided to wait an extra couple of days before making a decision on whether or not to put a shunt in. On the day they decided to wait, many people were praying. And just the next day, Ivy’s drain finally started running clear, rather than bloody. She also got her smile and energy back for about two weeks she hadn’t smiled once.
Ivy hasn’t stopped improving since that day. Now she is rolling, smiling, breastfeeding, crawling and pulling herself up on furniture. The doctors have told us that we should expect some long-term deficits from the severe brain bleed. So far us and the therapists checking in with her regularly do not see any deficits. They don’t see anything to make them concerned about her development. The area of the brain affected by the bleed was related to left side motor skills, and not at all related to any cognitive functions. We are so thankful to have our Ivy girl back. They still do not know the cause of the bleed and they plan to do a big scan this summer to see if they can find out why the bleed happened.
I don’t understand this journey. I don’t understand why our girl first of all experienced this, and second of all is recovering so well. Some babies in that ICU don’t recover and have to revisit it time and time again. Mark and I are so thankful all the UC Davis medical personnel that served us, loved on Ivy, nursed her back to health, and made countless important decisions for her benefit. And we’re thankful to God for giving us our little girl back, so that we can enjoy her and that she can live, explore and grow!
– Testimonial submitted by Anna and Mark Scholl