Jun 8, 2012

Ambulance Ride for Sammers


Last Friday I decided to take the kids to the Hogle Zoo while mommy was helping raise money at an auction for a local friend who is fighting a brain tumor.  We had only been there for an hour or so when we stumbled upon the bird show.  I can honestly say that I was absolutely blown away.  These birds were diving from high above, swooping overhead and were really amazing.  Well, during the show, Sammy was really snuggley and I noticed that he felt really warm.  The show ended and I was giving Sammy a drink and he just collapsed into my lap.  I scooped him up and stood, looking down just as he began to have a seizure.  I have never had time slow to a stop like it did then.  I have never been so panicked and scared.  His little face was contorting in the strangest ways and it was so alarming.  I noticed that he wasn't breathing.  When I got my wits I yelled to Jensen, "Watch Mia and stay right here!"  I knew Ellie was down trying to get a picture with the bald eagle.  I turned and ran up the stairs.   I probably ran 30 feet when I came across the first zoo employee.  I asked for medical help immediately and was impressed when I was surrounded by 4 zoo staff members before I even got the sentence out.  They must have heard my shouting from below.  There was an oxygen mask on his little face within 30 seconds of his seizure.  I remember because he still hadn't started breathing, and I was about to start CPR.  I held off, as my wits returned even more, knowing that a seizure will run its course, and it is best to just protect a person from self harm.  He finally started to take short, choppy little breaths at random and I felt like I too could breath again.  I stripped his clothes off and we tried to cool him with some ice.  He started to gain consciousness about 10 minutes later, and we had to keep waking him and talking to him to keep him alert.  He finally cried at 20 minutes, and the ambulance was there soon after to take us to the hospital.  One thing I am really grateful for is the Zoo staff.  They gathered my other 3 children (Ellie was a bit more difficult to locate) and took them around the corner and got them ice cream and cotton candy.  It was such a relief to have them taken care of since I was entirely focused on my little guy.  I just remember a guy (staff) telling me he was gathering my kids.  A few minutes later he discretely let me know that the kids were fine, they were right around the corner and that they were going to get them ice cream.  By the time the ambulance was out of the zoo and in the parking lot, Mimi had arrived, and just in time to ride with Sam to Primary Children's Hospital.  The physicians determined that he'd had a febrile seizure and was ok to go home that night.  The next day, the local doctor diagnosed him with hand foot and mouth disease, which Mia picked up soon thereafter, and a nasty little virus at that.  I was really proud of Jensen for taking charge so well and remaining calm.  He was really sweet and notably strong in a crisis.  He did cry a little at one point, and later told me "Dad, I was ok until I saw the look on your face," which actually brought me to tears again.  In the moment, when I saw him cry, I told him he had to take care of his sisters, and I could see him regain his resolve and quickly pull it together.  They were all so cute and worried. 


The kids insisted on saying goodbye to Sam Sam.  
They each climbed in to give him a kiss and a few words of encouragement.


  At some point the BYU cougar mascot "Cosmo" was out there horsing around entertaining the kids.


The older 3 got to ride in a cool 4 wheeled machine out to the parking lot to meet mom, nana and papa who had arrived by that point.


There is nothing better than mommy's embrace to make everything right again.  


You gotta love the remnants of that week old Thomas the tank engine tatoo on his cheek.


Here are some body parts.  Not sure why this pic made the cut....

My sweet boy.

After reading this Mimi informed me that the body part picture was because Sam's toes were painted blue.  He has two older sisters and a desire to be included. 

11 comments:

Jim Hutchings said...

Dang now I'm crying at work...thanks. I love you guys so much. Glad he's ok

Shelley Eggett said...

Oh my heart! I am so sorry, can't hold back the tears. I can't imagine how scary that was. Now I'm worried about Mia too. Is she handling hand foot and mouth ok?

Carrie Hellewell said...

Poor little Sam. I'm crying like a big baby. I'm so glad he's okay. Hope Mia and he feel better soon. In other news, we're looking to come up to Midway for a weekend soon. I'll keep you guys updated.

charity said...

hope he and mia feels better soon. i know how scary it is to watch your child have a seizure

jayna said...

Oh! My word. That is so scary and heartbreaking and happy he's okay. Sorry you guys had that happen!!

Photographer: Rebecca Pierce said...

Oh my gosh. I didn't think I would cry and I'm so glad to see others cry too. I already knew all about it, but I guess hearing the experience from John who was there for the seizure was even more scary and made me emotional. I love that future son-in-law of mine (honestly, he may want out of that deal, it's kinda hard to handle Betsey)! No more seizures or fevers! So sad!

Shila said...

Ok you McDonald kids, no more scares for your parents! I am sure your nerves are shot. I am rethinking our trip to the zoo today. j/k. Jensen, excelent job buddy, way to be the man. Love you guys!

Joy Criez said...

Except for John, I've not had the priviledge of meeting your adorable family. However I read each and every post, and do somehow feel as if I know all of you. As I read John's words, tears rolled down my cheeks, knowing the fears he was feeling, but mostly realizing the tremendous love each of you has for one another. Thank you for sharing this love with all of us.

Allison said...

How scary. Our neighbor (12 year old girl) has been recently diagnosed with epilepsy and seeing her seize has got to be the scariest thing in the world. I can't imagine having that happen on a fun family outing, especially with sweet little Sam! I most certainly hope that he and Mia are feeling better and that this NEVER has to happen again!!

Danielle said...

Yikes! Scary! The rush of fear when you see a seizure is overwhelming. I am glad everyone is OK. But, go zoo staff, go courageous kiddos, go John Boy.

Rachel Hudgins said...

How scary. I'm so glad for the happy ending. Way to go zoo staff! Way to go manly, man Jens! Way to go John for keeping your wits about you! I'm positive I would have been screaming like a maniac and not making any sense whatsoever. I can't even imagine. What an awful thing to witness your child go through. I never knew this little virus could be so cruel. Hope Mia is doing well.