It was a cold January day. January 2nd, 2020 to be exact. Erick had left for work early that morning and I knew something just wasn’t right. Before Erick had made his way out the door I stated that I was likely going to the hospital. Maverick’s breathing was off and with all the RSV going around my anxiety was getting worse by the minute.
I called a friend and asked for her help with Reiker so that I could get to the hospital and be able to focus on just Maverick and I. That way I also didn’t have to bring Reiker into a germ filled area.
We made our way to Stratford hospital and we got triaged and sent back to the waiting room. I asked one of the nurses if Maverick and I could just wait in a separate room that way I could breastfeed him and be away from everyone else coughing and spreading germs.
She brought us around to a room and there I sat… the hours ticked by. I was breastfeeding and rocking, breastfeeding and rocking… he wasn’t very tired and he was a little unconsolable. My mind was racing and my mama intuition was so clearly telling me that he was fighting a virus that had to be RSV.
I waited in that hospital room for hours until finally the doctor came. I asked her if I could show her videos of what he looked like that morning but she continued telling me that by the way he looks- he’s just fine and many get through this. He may just be a little “under the weather”. I asked her if there was a possibility for testing or if they could do anything… they hadn’t even weighed him in triage let alone checked for further things. She stated that the hospital was super full and there wasn’t much space for children that can just go home and get some rest.
I asked her what to do if this all got worse and she looked at me and said “just bring him back in”.
So that I did…
It was now January 28 and after much asking around, chiropractic visits and more… I decided to take him in to London, Children’s Hospital. Hoping that this time they would take me seriously and want to help. The entire drive there my heart was pounding, my maps led me the wrong way, Maverick was crying and then silent and then crying… on and off. I was crying… all I wanted to do was pull over and hold him… I just wanted to be at the hospital already, bringing him in, holding him in my arms. I was so anxious, and I feel like I had my eye on his baby mirror more than I had my eyes on the road that drive.
I walked in and it was like the whole world in that hospital just didn’t seem to care about the situation. My head was spinning and everyone else seemed to look at me like I needed to calm down. We finally got a a bed and I laid him down to begin to undress him. I was holding back tears. My heart was pounding and I knew that he just wasn’t ok. The way he was breathing, his little cough, his little cry for help… I told him we were in this together and that mommy would do as much as she could to advocate for him.
The nurse came in and weighed him, she checked his temp and his pulse. He had a fever that morning yet now his temp had gone down. I pleaded with her and said please just say something about his temp to the doctor because although it’s gone down a bit I know he is fighting something that isn’t right. She said she couldn’t do much but I could sit and wait for the doctor to come in.
The resident doctor walks in and asks me a few questions-
“How many wet diapers has he had in the last 24 hours”
“Two” I said, “and that isn’t near enough… he should have more- I know that”.
“How many times has he ate?” He asked me.
“He has been on and off my boob every two hours.. but it shouldn’t be that way.. I know something is off with his feeding.. it seems like he is just doing it to sooth himself” I said.
“Okay, that doesn’t seem worrisome to me, but I will note it” said the resident.
“Can I show you some videos from this morning? I have a picture of his temp, or of the mucus that I am noticing.. can I show you them?” I asked him.
“There isn’t much time, and I have wrote down what you’re saying, I can look at his chest if you’d like” he said.
“Yes, please do… you may not notice much congestion- as I don’t… but it’s the pattern of his breathing… I swear he has RSV” I pleaded.
“His breathing sounds great.. I will get the head doctor to come back in and give him a look over and then you can be released”.
I hung my head…. yet again no one trusted me.. no one wanted to see what I was seeing, and no one believed me. I sat in that room for 45 minutes waiting for the final doctor to come in, hoping he/she would believe me.
She walked in “So I heard what’s going on mama, mind if I just take a peak?” … “sure” I said, as she peaked over at him and took her stethoscope out. “let’s check out his chest” …”okay, sounds good…”
My heart dropped. REALLY!? THIS WAS THE HELP I WAS GOING TO GET!? I told her that I knew something was off… he make look and sound fine but he wasn’t. She told me there was nothing that they could do and it was too busy of a hospital to keep babies for ‘no reason’. I was to go back home and wait until it got worse……
Sunday February 2nd
It was nearing 11am and I had stayed at my mom the night before. The boys weren’t feeling the greatest and I wanted to take a quick bath with them before I left. We slid into the bath tub to cool down (their temps seemed a little high) and then I was going to head home. I figured if I could get home I could talk to Erick about bringing at least one of them in. Yet, every time that idea came to my head all I could think of was how much the doctors *wouldn’t* even listen to me if I tried. I decided to just see what they were like when I got home.
They fell asleep on the ride home, so I transitioned Reiker to his bed at home for his afternoon nap.
Maverick was hungry so I laid with him and breastfed him until he seemed full. We took some pictures and videos as I was trying to get him to smile. HE SMILED for the first time ever!
I told Erick that I was just going to lay him down for a bit so that he could rest before I possibly took him in. I changed his diaper and I swaddled him up the way he loved to be swaddled. He was ready for a nice long nap. I kissed him a million times and told him I couldn’t wait to snuggle him up again- that he just needed to get some sleep!
I grabbed the monitor and went downstairs to go bring Erick some pizza in the shop.. he told me he wanted to come in to get some dry socks, so back in the house I went.
Erick went upstairs to get some clean socks and I waited downstairs for him- I didn’t want to wake the boys as they often didn’t nap at the same time.
It was then that I heard Erick’s scream… his voice will never leave my head. He ran downstairs…. with Maverick in his arms. I screamed, and cried and whimpered… I called 911.
I tried so hard for 20 minutes to do everything I could to bring him back to me but he was gone….
I still remember those last moments of holding him in my arms and bringing him over to the paramedics so that they could possibly work some kind of miracle.
It just didn’t happen. God had taken him before they even got there and before the team at the hospital could even see him. He was gone.
Days later, we got a call and we were told that he had passed of meningitis… I bawled. Something did not seem right about that… I asked so many questions. I was convinced it was a virus he was fighting that didn’t get looked after.
After months of going back and forth with the coroner, asking the hard questions and asking for further investigation… I finally got the answer.
They told me that there was contamination and they were wrong about the diagnosis, and that it was likely SIDS. I raised my voice, I emailed, I sent videos, and I sent pictures… I told them there was no chance my child passed of SIDS… he was not well and there was SOMETHING wrong. I pleaded with them and begged them to do further testing.
I got a call.
“Miss Kara, yeah _____ here. We have the final report on Maverick Daniel Hamming and he passed away of bronchiolitis due to RSV… I am so sorry”.
I put the phone down and puked, and cried until I had no tears left.
I knew, my mama instincts knew.