Magic For Amaya

We have had many days of listening, learning and “dealing” with this tragedy. Take a deep breath before you read and remember this amazing little girl is alive.
Both of my daughters Amaya (age 7) and Ayva (age 6) were in a head on car collision a mile and half away from our home on Sunday February 23. They were on their way to go figure skating with their grandma. The girls were wearing their brand new helmets they were so excited and adamant to wear. Police reported it to be weather related. 

Thankfully ayva suffered minor injuries which included a broken clavical, a bruised lung and many seatbelt abrasions and bruising. These to a child and myself as a mother are not “minor” but unfortunately compared to her sister Amaya these are. Ayva has been discharged from hospital and is returning to school soon!

When Amaya was in the accident she suffered from a brain injury which had to be monitored by a probe being placed on her brain. 72 hours after the injury she was out of the dark zone. The probe was removed.  Her eye... she broke her orbital bone we are still waiting to find out about her vision she says her right eye is a little blurry. She will need a surgery to fix her fractured bone. She also fractured her pelvis in many places. Thankfully ortho says that because she won’t be leaving a bed anytime soon and because of her age they don’t foresee a surgery for this.

So now her major injury... Amaya broke her neck and has a severe spinal cord injury. Her neck not only broke but it dislocated from each other. Her spinal cord is badly damaged. Her spinal break is called cervical (neck) thoracic (back) C7-T1 incomplete spinal cord injury. She broke in between the two vertebrates that connect the neck part of the spine to the back. Amaya went for an 8 hour surgery the day of the accident, she had one of the best Nero surgeons in the world working on her. It was by flook that he was here... he wasn’t supposed to be here that day, he travels to different hospitals as needed. The surgery went very smoothly and was the fastest accident to surgery the hospital has had for spinal injuries. And was considered one of the fastest spinal cord surgeries her surgeon has ever done. 12 hours from accident to surgery for spinal cord injuries is considered fast, hers was started in 6. She had the best surgical outcome. This night is a complete blur to me I cried a lot, I screamed a lot, I fell to the floor many times i wanted to escape this nightmare, but this is reality. I walk the halls on auto pilot just going through the motions. It was the longest 8 hours I have ever endured. Her surgery went really well, however when they cut open her back there was already damage to the spinal cord, her spinal fluid was leaking out, the surgeon did his best to save as much as they could. He also gave her a steroid that is still being trialed for spinal cord injuries.

Then came the time for the surgeon to tell us the news. The news I was never prepared for... the news a mother never wants to hear, a true heart break and nightmare. “I’m sorry but your daughter is paralyzed and the likely hood of her moving anything from the neck down is unlikely, this will be a lifetime injury.” Amaya’s neck from C3 to C7 is completely fused together. I completely lost it, all of our family that was there lost it, I had to be carried to a bed and a lorazepam shoved in my mouth to calm me down and stop sobbing.

My baby will never walk again.

For days later she was on a ventilator, the day after her surgery they took down some of her sedation to see her reaction. Well the surgeon was wrong Amaya can move her arms, head and shoulders. But yes Amaya is paralyzed from mid chest down. Like I told you before about her brain injury, we were worried about her memory both long term and short term, I’m happy to say she remembers everyone, she remembers how to read and spell. She remembers everything up until the accident. She remembers how to speak and talks often. 

With Amaya’s spinal cord injury yes she can move her arms and yes she can control them but her motor skills to move her fingers (hopefully temporary) are gone. She was involuntarily moving her arms, very spastic. We were concerned about this. But I told Amaya about the accident on Tuesday and about all her injuries, since then her spasms have stopped. She needed closure from her mom what was happening to her body and what had happened that day, her mind is at ease.

Amaya will be in the paediatric intensive care unit for at least another two weeks, and as of now the doctors say she will be in hospital for at least four months. She will stay in the PICU for as long as she is needing support for her breathing. Amaya is able to breath on her own however because she is still healing and because she has no feeling from the chest down her lungs are not fully functioning. Her left lung keeps collapsing, she has the support of a bi pap machine right now. We use our diaphragm to breath, we use our abdomen to cough both of these Amaya has lost the feeling of. She is re learning how to do both, I hope she will over come this. She is unable to go to bathroom on her own, again because she has lost that feeling.

To all of you with little ones, hold them close, say I love you, and give hugs... you never know if your life will change, I never thought this would happen to my family... this is supposed to be only in the movies... but never to me.

Please keep praying please keep sending that unicorn magic. Kids are resilient and they can recover past our expectations. I’m having a hard time looking at the positive but I’m trying. We can do this. She can do this! I will do anything, fly her anywhere and pay for anything if it means she will have partial or full function back. I just want my adventurous, happy, particular, crazy, hyper, loving, smart 7 year old girl back.

Some doors may have closed for Amaya but more opened. We will make the best out of life no matter what the outcome. I love you amaya, mommy is doing everything I possibly can to make any possibility possible.

Please keep the unicorn magic coming and please pray for my little girl.  

#MagicForAmaya

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Alycia Dawson 
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Stonewall, MB