On January 20th, 2018 at a little after 2am Candas and Derek welcomed their precious baby boy into this world. A moment they had both, as well as the rest of us, been waiting for patiently! The morning started off a little rocky with Candas requiring an emergency c-section... but once Berkley made his grand entrance into this world everything seemed to settle back into place. Over the following few days Candas would start to have what we thought then to be minor problems following the c-section. She was running a fever, having hot flashes, a rash, and what the nurses told her was gas pain. All which are typical following a c-section so no one was alarmed. She was released from the hospital Monday January 22, 2018.
Unfortunately a time that should have been spent snuggling her new precious bundle of joy and teaching his two big sisters how to help take care of a new baby quickly turned into a nightmare that spiraled quicker than any of us were prepared for. A little after 9 am Tuesday January 23,2018 Candas was admitted to the ICU at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia. Things quickly went from bad to worse. What we thought was a reaction to the pain medicine actually turned out to be a rash caused by inadequate oxygen. Unfortunate because her oxygen level had been low for so long her heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys all began to fail. The doctors at Northeast Georgia notified the family that Candas would need to be life flighted to Emory to be placed on an ECMO machine in order to keep her organs from completely shutting down. We were being moved from one waiting room to another in hopes of seeing her before she was taken to Emory when the surgeon came in to notify us they decided not to wait for life flight but to start the ECMO immediately at Northeast Georgia. Shortly after that Emory sent an entire team of specialist to Northeast Georgia in order to transport Candas and all the machines from Gainesville to Emory University Hospital.
Upon arriving at Emory we met with a HUGE team of doctors who worked quickly to implement plan that would take every step possible to save her life. We continued the ECMO as well as starting dialysis and placing her on a ventilator. No matter what they tried Candas was not getting better, we were grasping at straws, and just trying to keep our faith. Finally they decided she would need an emergancy hysterectomy. Once the hysterectomy was completed Candas started making progress that allowed the doctors to say they are cautiously optimistic that she might survive this. They notified us that she was in spetic shock, she had an infection in her uterus that was spreading, as well as having Strep A in her blood stream. She still isn't out of the woods, and even in best case scenario she will still spend months at the hospital in recovery.
Not only did Candas and Derek welcome a sweet baby boy who is just barely a week old, they also have two beautiful girls that are 9 and 6. Candas has been a huge part of this community for most of her life. She was a huge athlete in high school, she now volunteers as a coach at the Banks County rec department, as well as in her daughters classrooms, and helps out whenever anyone needs it. She is the most kind and generous person you will ever meet, she is the mother we all wish to be, the wife/sister/friend you wish you could be. We would like to pull together as a community to rally behind this beautiful family to help with bills, food, gas, transportation, baby formula, diapers... as well as all of the small things we take for granted every day! No amount of money will ever make this situation easier, but my goal is to make the financial burden tradgey like this brings with it a little less so the family can focus on getting through this and getting Candas healthy again.