Our tiny warrior is turning one on January 13th and we are wanting to do a few things in celebration of this milestone. But first, the backstory.
Mitchell's life was greatly at risk by a traumatic fall that caused the "largest epidural hematoma they have ever seen" requiring an emergent craniotomy. We were informed before surgery that these types of bleeds typically do not end well and they prepared us for the worst. The longest, darkest, most agonizing hours of our life followed as we awaited for surgery to be through - there are no words to accurately describe the earth shattering, sinking feeling we felt. We couldn’t breathe. We held onto each other tightly as we rallied all of our friends and families together for one unified prayer. Then we called in begging for an update and the nurse told us they were suturing Mitchell up. I screamed "so, he's alive?!" We both collapsed into each other. And that moment was the very first miracle.
The surgeons came out and told us that the surgery went better than they had expected. They informed us that while in the resuscitation room awaiting surgery, the ER physician, Dr. Ridley, made a quick judgment call to give Mitchell a medication that would immediately shrink his brain to offload the building pressure. They also informed us that Mitchell had required a blood transfusion as he only had about 50% circulating blood volume remaining in his little body while the rest was bleeding out in his brain leading up to surgery. It was the decision and expertise of the neurosurgeon, Dr. Serletis, who decided to wait a few extra minutes before operating in order to let his body recoup some of that lost blood. The conversation was closed with discussion of Mitchell's road ahead and that "only time will tell." The next hurdle, the potentially more gruelling battle was up next...will Mitchell wake up? Well, as most of you know, Mitchell woke up. He breathed on his own. He cooed. He searched for us and met our gaze. He smiled and he nursed. He picked up practicing the skills right where he left off. He survived with not a single ounce of damage to his brain. This was the second miracle.
Had Mitchell not received that blood transfusion he would not be with us today. Also, had Mitchell not received the medication to shrink his brain, he would have suffered major brain damage. It is clear to us that the swiftness, knowledge, and expertise of the ER and neurosurgery teams are what saved Mitchell. It is also clear to us, now more than ever, that miracles really do exist. Spoken by the neurosurgeon himself - "Mitchell's recovery is nothing short of a miracle." Our prayers were answered.
This is the miracle of Mitchell.
If Mitchell's story has had an impact on you in any way we encourage you to donate to the Children's Hospital Foundation (click the orange DONATE NOW) AND/OR if you're able to, we encourage you to book an appointment to donate blood (by visiting blood.ca)
To all of our loved ones, family, friends, and those we don't know personally, but who were out there cheering and praying for Mitchell - to each and every single one of you - we thank you. All of our prayers, Mitchell's angels, blood donations, and the impeccable skill of the doctors are what brought our son back into our arms and gave him his life back. And this is our way of giving back. We are forever grateful.
This boy has a full life to live and we cannot wait to watch and learn what he chooses to do with it. He has already taught us so much in his incredible first year of life.
Happy first birthday Mitchell!
- Mike and Jill