Sterling Medical Journey
Sterling’s Journey from the Beginning to Recent:
Sterling aka Sassy Butt, has always been the healthiest out of the three of our babies. Sterling is Four Years old; loves dance, preschool, & anything outdoors. Our bubbly, sassy, & sweet little girl took a scary health turn come April 2019. Friday, April 19th our family was on our way home from having to make a family emergency trip to Texas. All the kiddos showed signs of getting a cold/allergy. Saturday, April 20th we left our home and went to visit family for Easter in Rapid City South Dakota. All three kids still showed simple signs of a small cold/allergies. Fast forward to Tuesday, April 23rd Sterling started showing signs of having an upset tummy after preschool. Later that evening she began to vomit and struggled keeping anything down. She complained of tummy aches; a headache & had a low-grade fever. I called the doctors and talked with a couple parents from school to see if a virus happened to be floating around, which it had. Friday, April 26th sterling had struggled the whole week keeping anything down let alone having an appetite. She had gone with out a decent intake of fluids for 5 days at this point, her puke was turning dark colors, & she was starting to lose color. I took all three kiddos into urgent care to check on Sterling and Grizzlee (he was still pretty stuffy). Mesa Primary Urgent Care reported that sterling had the stomach virus going around. They reported her symptoms to be pretty similar to the virus and to come back on the following Monday if things weren’t improving. Monday came around and sterling wasn’t improving, so I took her back to Mesa. Before they finished taking Sterling’s vitals, they requested sterling be transported in an ambulance to the Hospital Wyoming Medical Center. Monday, April 29th Sterling received an Ultra Sound, X-Ray, & CT Scan in the ER showing enough blockage to need emergency exploratory surgery. During Surgery, Dr Bowe discovered Sterling’s appendix had ruptured a week+ prior. The infection had leaked into her tummy causing a hard shell/erosion to form around the belly, bowel, & Intestines. This is not your typical appendix rupture and her infection was pretty severe. Dr Bowe tried to remove as much of it as possible. Between the surgery and the Nasogastric Tube Insertion they drained 2,000+ CC out of her abdomen. Day 8 of recovery sterling was not progressing & in quite a bit of pain. They took another CT Scan; it showed several abscesses 4+ Large ones causing sterling immense pain. Dr. Bowe and Dr. Sloan got together with Sterling’s medical team and went in for a Second procedure. During that second procedure Sterling’s body did not respond well to the positions they needed her body to lay when trying to place drains. Sterling had several bronchospasms; the anesthesiologist & radiologist saw it fit to cancel the rest of the procedure before her body shut down. The medical team came together again, sterling’s infection and abscesses were pretty severe they saw it fit to have a pediatric specialist work for her from that point forward. Wyoming medical transferred sterling and I by Ambulance to Colorado Children’s Hospital. After reviewing Sterling’s Scans, medical records, & third CT Scan they found it fit to access the abscesses via Fluoroscopy with the Radiologist where they placed a drain for the large abscesses that they could reach. The team was pretty confident in this third procedure and draining several of the abscesses. Three hours in the operating room showed yet again another partial success surgery. Sterling’s radiologist was astonished with the findings of her infection, the ability to not reach several of the large abscesses safely, & the congeal of the abscesses content. They replaced her PICC Line and moved it to her left arm, leaving her IV in her right arm for a second point access. Her infection is at a standstill and pretty ferocious, not showing improvement. At this point the medical team would like to wait on labs from taking a few specimens from the abscesses they could reach. They left three of the placed drains in and will be trying to break the abscesses up with two different countering antibiotics. The largest abscess in sterling’s pelvic area was unable to be accessed, this is the one we are most worried about. Sterling cannot handle any little bit of the pain without her pain managements. Her PICC Line is draining outside of the line a decent amount. They did a bedside X-ray today to see where the PICC Line is at as it came out 4 cm from the access point. She is pretty mentally traumatized and has had to have a child therapist come to her side for support when nurses/doctors administer pain meds and clean drains. They feel her body has been through enough trauma and want to see what it is able to do on its own. They started the TPA through the drains which helps thin out the infectious fluid in her body since its all congealing to the walls of her organs and tummy. They have tried the gut rest with sterling for the sake of her blocked intestines. The team has not come up with any long-term treatment plan. They find it best to work day by day watching how Sterling’s body reacts to the small movements and TPA. It is all a waiting game at this point, rechecking a CVC after antibiotics, intake, & movement. The progress is a up and down report at this point and we are waiting for signs that antibiotics will work for her infection.
Both my husband and I have been out of work this whole journey. Living expenses, bills, medical bills, & travel stay are stacking up quickly. We would love any support from our community, whether it be prayers or donation. We would love to get to focus on our sweet baby. We appreciate you all for your kindness. Stay Blessed! Smith Family