Wednesday, February 08, 2006


My son lives in Colorado, and works nights. His wife, Alysha, works during the day. This must be rough on them but they seem to manage. At least it allows them to spend plenty of time with their three children: Lizzie, Connor, and Jake.

Last night Alysha had put the kids to bed and took her bath, then went to check on the children before she went to bed.

She found little Jake, their youngest at 16 months, in a 'coma', and turning blue.

She picked him up and forgot all of her CPR training. She patted him on the back, shook him, patted him some more and finally got him breathing again. She called for an ambulance, then called Ben at work to come home. She went with Jake to the hospital while Ben stayed with Lizzie and Connor.

The doctors decided that Jake had some kind of virus, like a cold, and while they could do no more about the virus than they could a cold, they could treat the symptoms and monitor his condition. They medicated him against sinus infection, cleaned accumulated mucus out of his nose and mouth, and put him in an oxygen tent.

(Incidently, Alysha had taken Jake to the doctor yesterday, to check on what seemed to be an incipient cold. The doctor prescribed some cold medication with Codiene, but they hadn't filled the prescription yet. The doctors this morning told her that if she had given that medicine to Jake, the Coceine would probably have prevented her from ever being able to wake him up again.)

Today the other children were being watched over by family members while Ben and Alysha were in the hospital. Late this afternoon they took Jake out of the oxygen tent long enough for Alysha to hold him. This evening, the hospital released Jake and, as of 40 minutes ago (when I talked to Ben), he was resting comfortably.

Ben said they were all trying to get some sleep, so please call back tomorrow, preferably sometime after 11. He sounded tired, so I kept my conversation short. I just told him how proud I was of Alysha for saving little Jakes life.


This probably sounds like a fairly coherent account, but it wasn't the way I got the news.

The first word I had of the crisis was when my mother called a little after 7pm tonight, saying that she got the news this morning from Ben's mother, only that he had been found in the crib, in a coma, turning blue, Alysha got him breathing and to the hospital, he seemed to be all right but they were watching him. The other kids were okay, Ben was at the hospital and probably couldn't take calls because they wouldn't let him have his cell phone 'on' there.

Mom had decided not to call me at work, because there was nothing I could do and I would probably just worry about him all day.

SWMBO came by after her Jazzercise class about a half-hour after I had talked to Mom, and when I told her what had happened she advised me to call Ben. She said if I didn't, I probably would worry myself sick and never get to sleep tonight.

Later my daughter, Jennifer (pregnant with HER second child) called to flesh out the details a little. She said I should call Ben, and if he was not in the hospital he would have his cell phone on and I could talk to him. If he was at the hospital, they would make him turn the cell phone off and it wouldn't bother anybody. She said that if I didn't call Ben, I would worry myself sick and wouldn't get any sleep at all tonight.

Why does everybody think I'm such a worry wort? What makes them think that my grandson's near-death experience would upset me so? Hah! They think they know me, just because they are my family.

And finally I called Ben for the summary, and the good news that the crisis was over.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMy heart took a few jolts this evening, and you can imagine my feeling of helplessness at being 1000 miles away when we came so close to losing this beautiful child.

I'm coming down from my little panic attack now, I'll probably be able to sleep tonight after all. Writing this is just a nervous reaction, a way for me to step back a little bit and regain my equilibrium. And maybe, until I can talk to Alysha directly, it's a way to say how proud I am of her.

She did everything just right. She saved a precious life. She is my hero.

Thank you, Alysha.

Thank you, God.

Thank you, my loving family, for also watching over the doting grandfather.

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