On Thanksgiving the unthinkable happened, our lives have been turned upside down. When we would have been sitting down to our Thanksgiving dinner the ambulance was instead rushing Melanie from one hospital to another. Melanie was presented to Capital Medical Center on the afternoon of admission with a 3 day history of cough and congestion. On the night prior to admission she began having wheezing and respiratory distress. By the morning of admission she was breathing rapidly, wheezing and had cyanosis (turning blue) of lips and fingernails. Melanie was emergently transferred from Capital Medical Center in Olympia to The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma. She was requiring resuscitation for lethargy and eventually had to be intubated, which means that a machine is now breathing for her.
Melanie has been diagnosed with pneumonia, rhinovirus(to most this is the common cold) and subsequent hypoxia. Numerous tests which have included repeated ECHOs(heart testing) showed that the right side of Melanie's heart is quite enlarged due to a moderate-large ASD (hold in the heart wall).
Approx. 6 weeks after Melanie has recovered from this respiratory illness she will be facing an open heart surgery to repair the ASD. This is a complete and total surprise to all of us.
Her prognosis is quite guarded. She seems to be making progress but with the possibility of having setbacks as well. It is emotionally devastating and very frustrating. With all of the information the only thing I can do right now is to be here at my child's bedside. I will be living, breathing, eating, and sleeping by her side for the next 1-3 months(possibly longer) and throughtout this healing process.
My employer has been amazingly understanding and is allowing me time off from work. However, I do not have vacation or sick leave from my job, Subsequently there will be no income coming in....
As you can well imagine the bills do not stop because your child is critically ill. Rent, utilities are due. Food and gas need to be paid for. I will need to have cash for my expenses here in Tacoma.
We do not know what the future holds for us. I do know that we are blessed with good medical coverage. However Melanie needs me by her side throughout this ordeal. I am afraid for my daughter and for our situation.
Many people have been reaching out and wanting to know how they can help. While it is awkward to ask for financial assistance- this is what my family needs at this point in our journey. Don't be embarrassed that you don't have much to contribute, any amount is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thank you all for the continued prayers, love and support!
- Amaira Gallagher
- Jermaine and Janita Raham
- Aunt Laura and Uncle Seth
- Kenna Krise
- Robin George
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