Taken the morning of December 14th
On December 14th, 2010 Harrison and I were in the living room after Daddy left for work. I was paying some bills while my little man played on the floor with his toys. My cell phone rang and it was Harrison's pediatricians office confirming his 15 month appointment for the following day. I told them we would be there and hung up. That is when I heard my son gag. He was breathing, but he kept gagging. I never saw anything in his mouth so I called my mom. Trying to keep me calm, my mom told me if he was breathing to calm down and call his Dr. and that he would be fine. He had just had some blue berries so maybe one was stuck in his throat. The doctor's office said they would get us right in so I went to his room to put his coat on. That is when he started vomiting blood. I freaked. I was crying uncontrollably trying to talk to a woman who answered my 911 call. I am so thankful she could understand me, because I am pretty sure I was screaming/sobbing the whole time. He was choking and I didn't know on what. Talk about being punched in the gut. How could I be his mother, the one that was in the same room as him and not see what he had in his mouth?!? Quicker than I ever could have imagined, the ambulance came screaming down my cul de sac. Three men ran out, quickly observed the situation and we were off to Kosair's Children's Hospital.
I realized once I was in the ambulance that Matt had no idea what was happening so my poor husband received a frantic/sobbing phone call from me with sirens in the back ground. He made out the part that we were on our way to Kosair's and left immediately to meet us there. The trip from my house to the hospital should have taken a solid 30 minutes but I know for a fact we made it in half that amount of time. The whole ride, Harrison continued to breathe, but he was still vomiting blood. His sweet footed pajamas, my sweatshirt and pregnant belly were covered in blood. We looked like we belonged in a scene of a horror movie. I saw the fear in Matt's eyes when he saw me, and I will never forget that look.
Harrison needed to be xrayed, not only to find out what it was he was choking on, but also to find its location so that the doctor could remove it. A nurse asked me if there was any chance I was pregnant because if I was I could not stay in there with my baby as he was being xrayed. I couldn't lie. I knew I had to take care of the little one in my belly, but I wanted desperately to stay with Harrison. As I kissed Harrison before I left the room, he was crying holding his hands out wanting to hold my hair. He had always loved my hair and twirled it before falling asleep. The one bit of comfort he wanted as he was being restrained on a table I could not even give him because I had to leave. I was crying so hard I could barely breathe and I knew if I didn't stop I would faint. I do not remember the nurse's name, but a wonderful nurse came and held me as Matt stayed with Harrison. I will never forget the comfort she gave me at that moment. She was my angel.
The xray confirmed that Harrison had the metal top and hook of an ornament lodged in his throat. Because it was not too far down, he did not require invasive surgery and within an hour of getting to the ER my little boy was asleep, breathing easily after having part of an ornament removed from his throat. They transferred us to the Kosair's downtown and we spent the night so that doctors could monitor him for any infections.
Because Kosair's is a teaching hospital residents and interns were in and out of our room all night eager to meet the little boy who swallowed an ornament. At one point I had gone to the nurses station to request juice for Harrison and as I approached the desk I heard four or five nurses talking about "The little boy who swallowed the ornament". By the end of our stay Harrison was famous. No one could believe his story and that we were leaving the hospital the next day with a healthy happy 15 month old.
For weeks I had trouble sleeping. Every time I closed my eyes I could see the events of that day being played over and over again in my head. I have never been so thankful for something in my whole life. I still pray every day thanking God for my babies and their health. But for several weeks I really struggled with guilt. I just could not forgive myself for letting that happen. I know that accidents happen, but this could have been prevented. I could have been more prudent in child proofing my decorations. I felt guilt for not knowing or seeing what it was that he had choked on. I was so mad at myself for letting that happen to him. It took a lot of prayer and time to finally move past that day.
On a much lighter note, this morning I received a call from Wave 3. They are doing a news segment on child proofing your home for the holidays. The reporter heard about our story from our ER doctor and contacted us to share our story. As I spoke with the reporter on the phone, she wanted to know all of the details so I shared the whole story with her. She then asked when this happened. I paused as I choked back some tears...."One year ago today". I had goosebumps. I could tell she was a bit amazed at the timing as well. Even though it is hard reliving that day, I am excited to share our story so that maybe another child can be spared a trip to the emergency room. I will be sure to post our interview as soon as it airs. Wave 3 is hoping to air it sometime Monday.