December 16th Pt.2

That night I slept in ICU with Jordyn and Tyreke slept with Tyson on the 5th floor. My mom stayed with me so I could go back and forth between the kids’ rooms. I needed to know what the doctors and nurses were doing but I couldn’t be in two places at once, so I thank God for my mother dropping everything to be there and support me, Tyreke, and the kids. 

Because Jordyn had been unresponsive, she had lost some of her motor skills and needed to be put on oxygen. She actually stayed on oxygen almost the entire time we were at the hospital for those nine days. 

The next morning Jordyn’s motor skills were already improving by the time the doctors came in to check on her. They told me that both of the kids would need to have blood transfusions. Jordyn also needed a plasma transfusion because they needed to run some more tests on her, but her body wasn’t strong enough for the tests. They also told me that one of the tests would be a spinal tap but because her oxygen was so low that she needed to be put on a ventilator in order to perform this procedure. To say I was scared would be an understatement but I had this constant feeling that God was going to take care of my babies so I trusted in Him and the doctors and said ok to all the tests because at this point, they still couldn’t tell me what was wrong with my baby. 

While all this was happening to Jordyn, I was told that the blood transfusion Tyson had gotten that morning didn’t boost his hemoglobin up high enough (and it still to this day hasn’t gone up to where it used to be before all this happened) so he would need to get another one. The doctors also informed me that his spleen was enlarged. Now for those of you that don’t know this is actually really common in children with sickle cell and for Tyson to have been just a few days away from turning 6 it was really good that this had never happened to him before. I know quite a few children with sickle cell ss that have had to get their spleens taken out before the age of 5, so even in that moment I was able to count my blessings. 

A Splenic Sequestration is when the sickle cells block the blood vessels in the spleen and blood can’t move freely through and it causes it to become enlarged. It is very dangerous and the doctors were hoping that another blood transfusion would help Tyson’s spleen to go back to normal. Thank God after a few hours his spleen started to go down and his hemoglobin slowly started to come up as well. 

After all the tests had been run on Jordyn, MRI, MRA, Spinal Tap, and so many others with her blood and nasal passage. The doctors came back to tell me they thought it was the flu. They had already determined it was the flu for Tyson on the first night we were there but the flu test they did on Jordyn had come back negative the first time. The doctors still were not ruling out meningitis, but those results hadn’t come back yet because the spinal tap results needed more time than all of the other tests, so I was only told she had the flu for sure. 

The ICU doctor told me that he had only seen one other case like Jordyn’s. It was a little girl a few years older than Jordyn that didn’t have sickle cell but for some reason the flu caused her to have seizures and be unresponsive. He couldn’t tell me anything except that they were going to give Jordyn a bunch of antibiotics in hopes that it would help her to recover. 

Once she was able to get off the ventilator, they had to put her back on oxygen because she still wasn’t able to breathe on her own very well. But she was talking more and her motor skills were also improving. 

By this time, we had a massive support system at the hospital with us. Our family, our friends and even our church family had come through FULL FORCE with love, prayers, food and even financial support. I have no idea how we would have made it through without the support of our village. 

All of this happened on December 17th. The 18th was just a bunch of monitoring and running back and forth from room to room for me and Tyreke making sure we spent as much time with each child as we could. 

When we got up on the 19th the doctors told me Jordyn was doing so good that she could leave ICU. I was so happy to get off that floor because I felt like we were one step closer to going home. Or so I thought. 

The doctors were kind enough to give Jordyn the room right next to Tyson and I was so happy to have my babies close to each other again. They still haven’t seen each other (except on FaceTime) and this was the longest they had been away from each other their entire lives. So them being just a room away from each other made me feel so much better. 

A few hours after Jordyn was moved, Tyson’s liver started to shut down on him. His spleen had gone down almost to its regular size but for some reason his liver wasn’t working properly. The doctors told me that he needed to be rushed to get some tests because they were concerned Tyson would need to be moved to ICU now. I called my mom and we just started praying. The kids hadn’t been on the same floor for a full day yet and now they were saying they would have to be split up again. 

I went with Tyson while they did the ultrasound on his liver and held his hand. His liver problems were causing him pain and all I could think was Lord please don’t let this turn into a pain crisis. After running the test and speaking to the liver specialist we were told that Tyson wouldn’t have to move to ICU yet but they needed to monitor him very closely to make sure things didn’t get worse. 

And just like that, I felt that God was still blessing us. To say that I was being optimistic would be an understatement. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was going to bring us out and as long as I held onto my faith, we would be ok.

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December 16th

You know I never thought it would take me an entire year to write this, but here we are a year later on the other side of two near death experiences and I’m just now ready.

It all started the third weekend of December 2019. My mom was watching the kids and called to tell me that both of them seemed to be under the weather suddenly. I immediately thought about the phone call I had gotten the Thursday before from Tyson’s teacher saying one of his classmates had the flu. Tyreke and I both decided that it would probably be fine to let Tyson go back to school because that child wasn’t going to be there and it was only one day left in the school week anyway. Well boy were we wrong. 

Sunday night after picking the kids up from my mom’s house Tyson and Jordyn just didn’t seem like themselves. They weren’t running around and playing like usual and they both were really whiny. In the middle of the night they both started crying about how bad they felt so I put Jordyn in the bed with me and Tyreke went to sleep in the guest room with Tyson. They both had pretty rough nights with Tyson having diarrhea and Jordyn having a low grade fever. 

The next morning neither of them really had appetites; they both were extremely sleepy and by then Tyson had a fever too. I told Tyreke as soon as Jordyn wakes up for real and not just to drink water (because that’s what she was doing all night) then we were going to take them to the hospital. 

While the kids were sleeping, Tyreke and I took some time to talk and just be in each other’s company for about 20 minutes. He gets up to go check on the kids and the next thing I hear is him screaming. SHAKEIRA, SHAKEIRA COME QUICK! I jumped up and ran to the room to see Jordyn in our bed knocked out and she had soiled herself. Now if you know me then you know I potty trained both of my children before the age of two and Jordyn has never had an accident since then. So I was immediately concerned. 

We tried waking her up and calling her name but she wouldn’t respond. I had Tyreke bring her into the bathroom so I could give her a bath. The entire time I was saying her name and asking her to talk to me but she only opened her eyes to look at me, she couldn’t speak. I sat her on the toilet to see if she needed to use the restroom again and she started shaking uncontrollably. I started screaming and called for Tyreke’s help. By that time he had already woken up Tyson and was getting him ready so we could head to the hospital. I gave Jordyn a bath but she still wasn’t talking to me. I was asking her my name and even her own name but she couldn’t tell me anything, she could barely stand and definitely couldn’t walk. We hurried and got dressed and left the house in a rush. 

We only live about a 15 minute drive from the hospital but Tyreke was zooming so I just knew we would get there in like 10 minutes. But then as he was changing lanes to get off the exit our car STOPPED! He tried to restart it and nothing happened. Tyson was in the back seat looking so sick and helpless and Jordyn was still unresponsive with her head just hanging to the side, eyes barely opened. Tyreke jumps out the car and starts waving down the passing cars trying to get help. I’m on the phone with 911 but I’m screaming so much the lady is having a hard time even understanding me. 

Out of nowhere this man, who I later find out is named Jose, stopped and told Tyreke he would take me and Jordyn to the hospital. Apparently he was on his way to see his grandson being born so he was headed in that direction. I hung up on 911, grabbed Jordyn out of her car seat and jumped into the front seat of the mans pick up truck. Tyreke stayed behind with Tyson because there wasn’t enough room for all of us. 

Jose gets us to the emergency room in no time. He was driving like he knew us and completely understood what we were going through. I jumped out of his truck with Jordyn in my arms and said thank you as I was running into the emergency room doors. 

When I got inside all I could do was yell out “ SOMEBODY HELP ME MY DAUGHTER IS UNRESPONSIVE AND SHE HAS SICKLE CELL”. They rushed us to this room and laid her on this big table. Nurses and doctors and so many people surrounded Jordyn that I could barely see her. I called my mom to tell her what was happening and texted my ride or die sister praying crew. The doctors were hooking Jordyn up to all these different IV’s and trying to get her to talk. She started grabbing at all the cordes and was screaming no no no. I was a little relieved because up until then she hadn’t spoken any words but I was still scared out of my mind.  I was trying not to show it because I felt like I needed to be in control to be the best for Jordyn and to make sure I knew exactly what they were doing to her. They did X-rays and rushed her down for a CAT- scan. By that time they have given her some kind of medicine and a ton of fluids. I looked up and my mommy came busting into the room. I have no idea how she got back there or how she got to us so fast but that didn’t matter. She was crying and asking about Tyreke and Tyson. She immediately anointed Jordyn and I told her I needed her to go get Tyreke and Tyson.

Tyreke and Tyson were still on the side of the highway this entire time. He was trying to call people to see if they could pick them up and he was trying to get the piece of crap (I want to say something else but my mommy is going to read this) car towed. Because we left the house in such a rush we forgot to pack the kids bags, so Tyreke was on the side of the road with nothing. We always and I mean ALWAYS pack a back for the kids. It consists of water, snacks, hand wipes and Clorox wipes. From what Tyreke told me, Tyson was extremely thirsty and looking sicker by the minute. My mom eventually made it to them and brought them to the hospital. 

By the time Jordyn got put into a regular room in the ER, Tyson was already in a room, so they put them in side by side rooms. My village started showing up even though I told them not to. They didn’t  listen and I’m happy they didn’t. It felt good seeing their faces. The doctor finally came in after running tests on both the kids and he told me he thinks Jordyn has meningitis and also had several seizures. He also said she needs to be moved to ICU. I walked over to Tysons room and he told me Tyson also has to be admitted but he doesn’t have to go to ICU. However it looks like he will definitely need a blood transfusion because his hemoglobin was extremely low. 

My mom was going back and forth from room to room praying over the kids and just before we were about to go to ICU with Jordyn I looked at her and asked her one more time if she knew who I was. She opened her eyes and said “ Mommy”. I broke down, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever hear my baby say that again. I went over to Tyson’s room to have Tyreke ask her the same thing and she recognized him too and my mom. I think it was in that moment that I knew no matter what we were about to go through God was going to be with us and we would make it out on the other side of this. All four of us!

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