In late 2016, my husband and I found out that our small family is yet to have another new member. We were both ecstatic. We really didn’t know what was ahead of us, but one thing was for sure, we were excited to welcome our bundle of joy. Alas, in May of 2017, the little one finally arrived. Weighing a whopping 8 lbs, we greeted our second princess with lots and lots of hugs and kisses. Of course, daddy had to take a gazillion amount of videos and photos, a few just isn’t going to make the cut!
Aside from the epidural placement, everything went smoothly. From the time we went to the hospital up until we were discharged home. Everything fell perfectly in place to a point where my husband and I thought, “Wow, were pros at this!”. I even remember us kidding around saying, “This, ain’t to bad, I think we can have more soon”.
You see, when your first child turns out to be nothing short of being perfectly healthy, you never ponder upon the 'what-if’s' when you have your second child. However, after only a week of being at home, our whole family was rattled by one event after another. Our weeks seemed months. I couldn’t even remember how many times we’ve had to go from one doctor to another.
Our fragile newborn angel, who was only about 6-7 weeks old at the time was diagnosed with a rapidly growing rare congenital cyst located on the left side of her neck. The cyst grew so fast that all her doctors were alarmed. I could still vividly remember how hard it was for our daughter to nurse and even get a good nap because of the location of the mass. It was heart breaking to watch how labored and tired she was taking her each breath.
At 8 weeks old, my daughter underwent surgical drainage of the cyst. Because of her young age and the location of the cyst, performing an extensive surgical removal of the mass just wasn’t on our table. It was the longest wait our family ever had to endure. Working in the medical field ourselves didn’t give us much comfort either. We knew what the risks were. Likewise, we were very well aware of what we may have to face in case things go south.
Even though I have dealt with death numerous times, I could not accept the fact that at one point, I might have to leave the hospital without seeing my daughter smile once again. With one last kiss and a tight hug, I had to finally leave my daughter in the hands of nurses and surgeons. It was an unbearable thought that during our last few moments prior the surgery, the only videos I had was of her struggling to breathe.
I had given the speech of “accepting death” to my patients family members over and over again but I could not fathom having the conversation the other way around. We were living the nightmare of each parent.
We thank God for his grace and mercy and for providing us with a great team of healthcare providers at Phoenix Children's Hospital, Yuma Regional Medical Center and @yuma pediatrics, who assisted us throughout the whole ordeal. Because of their active surveillance and prevention, we didn’t have to live our lives missing a part of our heart.
Our princess had the chance to celebrate her first birthday, free from any complications. Since then, all we ever wanted was to share the joy of being with loved ones. To cherish each moment and making each memory count. We've learned not to take anything for granted because life is fragile. It can and it will take you by surprise. The least thing we can do is be prepared. We teach because of our passion and desire to save lives. We do this because we care. You are more than a number, a room, a patient. You are a person; and that is why we are here. This is our “why”.
Disclaimer: The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in BLS, ACLS, and PALS and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart Association, and any fees charged for such a course do not represent income to the Association.