Yesterday, while I was sitting with my dad at Kessler Institute, I received an email from the parent of a former student. I have taught two of her children. As teachers, I know we aren’t supposed to pick favorites, but this child and his family have touched my life in so many ways. This particular student is the same age as Drew and they are friends. They have been in classes together and on sport teams together. I have spent many long evenings on the sidelines with his parents. I share a birthday with one of their boys.
This email made me gasp out loud and brought me to tears more than once today. His mother, who is a doctor, wrote,
“he is in PICU at Morristown Memorial Hospital on a ventilator. It has been a hellish few days watching his body decompensate in every way. The doctors, based on the blood cultures, now believe that he probably has an infection in his knee bone that led to bacteria seeping into his blood, leading to septic shock and ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).
I contacted her last night through a message and asked what I could to do help. It is so hard to know we are unable to do anything. She told me that it came on so suddenly. He was out playing baseball and doing school work and a few hours later was in this condition. I haven’t been able to get him and his family off my mind. His mom told me that it was fine to share his story and he needs all of the positive thoughts and prayers that we can give so I am writing about it tonight.
This afternoon, I got this update,
Hello everyone. Last night he spiked a fever again. This morning they took him to MRI and he saw the pediatric orthopedist. They found an infection half way up his femur bone. He is being taken straight to surgery to open up the knee and clean out the infection. After the surgery they are going to try to put on a wound vacuum to pull out the infection but, his platelet count is very low which puts him at risk for bleeding, so they may not be able to use the vacuum.
The orthopedist said they will need to take him back to the operating room every few days to flush the infection. She predicts damage to his growth plate which, of course, is devastating to hear as he is such a sports fanatic. I guess that is very secondary right now.
This boy is a role model. A talented athlete and musician. He is every teachers dream student. I was lucky enough to teach two of the children in this family and I hope that they are aware of all of the love that is being poured out to their family right now.