My name is Tiant Coardes, and I am from New Haven, CT. I am the biological mother to my beautiful 16y.o daughter Jalyn, as well as a step-mother to my 15y.o stepson De’Andre and my 23 y.o step-daughter Alexis, and grandma to my two wonderful step- grand boys Robert 4 and Ryan 9 months. On April.1, 2019 I brought my Jalyn into see her pediatrician for what I thought was a minor stomach virus. All within two hours my husband Andre and I were sent to the Emergency room and then to the pediatric ICU where we were told that they did not think she was going to make it, and that we should reach out to all family. Hours later they we’re rushing her into surgery to remove her appendix, by this time an infection had went through her entire body and became sepsis. Something at the time I did not think was possible and had no knowledge of.
At the time of being diagnosed, her blood pressure was extremely low and she had to be given two different blood pressure medications as well as put on a machine called ECMO to help condition her heart and lungs. While connecting Jalyn to the ECMO machine, I can remember the nurses coming out and saying to me “I am so sorry for your loss” and though they said die, God said live because her heart kept right on beating. After a few days, the doctor’s had a meeting with my husband and I and explained to us that between the two blood pressure medications, and the Ecmo machine there could possibly be some limb loss. They reported to us that we were dealing with a life over limbs situation, however if it meant saving our daughter’s life we needed them to do what had to be done.
As I sit writing today we are now awaiting surgery to remove both hands, as well as her left leg above the knee and her right leg below the knee. For me I would have never in a million years thought that I would ever have to make this decision of life over limbs for any of my children or sit back and watch it happen. I look at her every day, and say “only if I could trade places with you.” Jalyn is an honor roll student, a dancer, and a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, she has her entire life in front of her. Never should she have to be faced with something like this and it is breaking her father and me, as well as the rest of our family.
It is so bizarre; I am a therapist that works everyday with families of adolescents who are faced with daily challenges, and yet I can’t seem to pull myself together for my own, and I do not know what to say to myself or my daughter at times. So many unforeseen decisions have had to be made in the past few weeks, including where we will now live. We currently are trying to relocate due to the steps that we do not believe Jalyn will be able to go up or down (at least not right away). Also as the different medical teams have spoken to us about new prosthetics that are now out that would allow her to continue to live life as normal as possible. I have had to take time off from work to be with her, and my husband is currently the only one working. We are now awaiting medical treatment, as well as now life long accommodations.
I have always tried to be the best mother to my daughter, my step children, and any other children I come in contact with. Now every day I find myself thinking how did I not protect her from this, while promising to protect her for the rest of my life. Though it never leaves my mind that though the picture seems very small now, I know there is a bigger picture down the road. I know that there is no way this is happening for nothing. Through this all my family and I continue to pray every day and stand on God’s word and faith, and I know that he will carry us through this. As well as aside from anything else, I know are story will be able to help or encourage someone else who might be going through, to just know to keep holding on to God’s unchanging hands. God will carry you through as he has and continues to carry us every day.
I am happy to report that aside from everything going on; Jalyn is in great spirits, and continuing to touch the hearts of everyone she encounters. She is getting her strength back and continuing to condition her body. She continues to smile, and knows that she will dance again, and continue to live a normal and productive life! She knows it doesn’t stop here.
This young lady is so special and amazing, and every day that God allows me to look at her beautiful face I will thank him forever and ever.
Jalyn’s number #1 fan