Two-year-old Eevee was rushed into hospital just two days after Christmas in 2022. After that, life wasn’t the same. Her parents, Adam and Alice, tell us about Eevee’s incredible eight-month hospital journey, where she defied all odds.
“All I can say is that we were put in a very unfortunate circumstance. One that I wouldn’t wish any parent to have to go through.
Eevee was taken to Gloucestershire A&E in the late evening after deteriorating throughout the afternoon. As soon as we got there, she suddenly collapsed and was rushed into a side room and quickly surrounded by doctors.
We later found out this was a result of Strep A and Sepsis resulting in multi-organ failure. Upon being intubated, she suffered a cardiac arrest and needed to have CPR for 90 seconds. This loss of oxygen to her brain meant she suffered significant brain damage.
Eevee was then prepared for emergency transfer to Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Adam, Eevee’s dad
She was surrounded by doctors who fought tirelessly to save her life.
That day, Eevee was put into an induced coma to save her life. The hope was that, with her brain function at low levels because of the coma, it would limit the damage. Amazingly, she managed to make it through the night.
For the next three and a half weeks, Eevee was kept in an induced coma. Attempts to wake her up started to pose more challenges. During this time, we found she had a blood clot on her left lung, meningitis, dystonia and the extent of her brain damage, which eventually led to seizures. After many tweaks to her medication, nothing more could be done – we just had to hope that Eevee would make it through the process of having her intubation tube extracted.
We sat down and they delicately told us to expect the worst.
After an extremely emotional week explaining the situation to family and the very hard conversation of telling our eight-year-old son his sister was not likely to make it, a date was set to remove her breathing tube.
17 January came, and Alice and I sat and hoped against hope that Eevee would be okay. The procedure was performed. In what can only be described as a miracle, the intubation tube was pulled out and our Eevee started breathing on her own.
From here, things moved quite quickly. Eevee showed signs of improvement every day. We were still learning and understanding the limits to her recovery, but taking every little win we could.
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Eventually, we were discharged from the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit to the High Dependecy Unit. From there, Eevee quickly moved to the neurorehabilitation ward, where we spent the majority of our time. She started therapies such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and play and music therapy. She’ll need most of these for a large portion of her life.
After many months of tireless care from doctors and hard work from Eevee, she was finally strong enough to go on weekend leave and eventually discharged.
Adam, Eevee’s dad
We NEED to say a huge thank you to all, who not only supported Eevee but the family as a whole. We will be forever grateful for everything that was done for us.
Although there isn’t really anything that would have made the situation easier, the support we had from The Grand Appeal and in turn Bristol Children’s Hospital was hugely beneficial by taking some of the weight off of our shoulders. Without the free accommodation which we used for eight months, things would have been significantly more difficult logistically but financially also.
The rest of the support we received, such as the play areas within the hospital and the music therapist who really helped Eevee enjoy sounds again, was phenomenal.
It’s easy to take these things for granted when you have other things going on but without the support The Grand Appeal offered our family, we would have significantly struggled mentally – possibly even to the point of delaying Eevee’s recovery, in my opinion.
It would have been impossible to do all on our own.”