Jamal started throwing up, experiencing chest pains and headaches and we took Jamal to a near by clinic where the doctor gave him some medication. Our return home was short-lived as we headed right back out to the closest emergency department as Jamal was finding it difficult to breathe. They prescribed different medications for Jamal and he was later discharged only to go right back again as he was not getting better. A chest X-ray showed fluid around his heart so they transferred us to SickKids for further care.
We thought Jamal would receive a simple treatment for a simple problem and we would likely be discharged in the next few days. That was far from our reality: Jamal was urgently admitted to the Cardiac Critical Care Unit at The Hospital for Sick Children. Jamal had a life threatening and rare complication from infection and developed blood clots in his heart that were blocking his blood stream and he became critically ill. He was on life support for his lungs and circulation for a number of days and required twenty four hour nursing/medical care and was kept in a medical coma. He was so sick that in order to save his life from the blood clots his legs were amputated and the muscle in the remaining areas were badly damaged. Jamal made a slow recovery over weeks and months and has survived this life-threatening event. It required the care of dozens of health care providers. He survived but was left with a permanent and life-changing injury that now requires Jamal to fight and get better.
He was eventually transferred to a ward where he has slowly recovered from the infection, muscle damage and heart damage and is now starting to eat again. Our son is in a very early phase of learning to sit and start to rehabilitate to gain as much as he can. He is fighting every day to gain strength and become as independent as possible. Jamal will win his fight but he will need support and help from many people over the next few years. Jamal is young and the entire team at SickKids which saved his life knows that “he can do it”.
Jamal’s immediate future plans are that he will be transferred to a full-time rehabilitation facility where he will work harder than ever before to regain his life. Jamal’s devastating injury was unexpected and changed his life but not the person inside. He is still our 16 year old boy who wants to play and enjoy life and we are asking for everyone's help to support our beautiful son to recover in the best way possible.
Currently as you can well imagine, this is a very stressful and worrisome time for Jamal and our family. It is important that we be in the hospital day in and day out to support Jamal with his daily activities, rehabilitation and continued emotional support. We have currently left our jobs so we can support Jamal, be present during his recovery and be available to the health care team to participate in any medical decisions that are required.
We are pleading with everyone, within our community and beyond, to help by supporting our family. The funds raised will help cover the expenses towards the modification of the house and other medical bills. Jamal is one of the bravest young man we know. He is fighting the biggest fight of his life and we are so grateful that he is here with us. If you would like to make a contribution to help us in this time of need, we will be extremely grateful. No amount is too small... it will make a difference.
Thank you all, on behalf of Jamal and his entire family.
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