Jessica and I have known Lauren since junior high school and really wanted to support them, but there were no words we could speak, cards that would express our sympathy, or flowers that could in any way ease any of t...
I’m going to do my best to share with you some of the nightmare Lauren described to me. I feel like it shouldn’t be my story to tell because it’s so personal, but share it knowing so many of you came together this last week to surround Jose, Lauren, Scarlett and their family in prayer.
On Easter Sunday Scarlett woke up like so many other kids excited to see what the Easter Bunny had brought. Her parents took a picture of her smiling with her Easter basket not knowing this would be the last picture they took of their seemingly healthy little girl.
The week to follow was an absolute nightmare. On Sunday night Scarlett developed a fever and was throwing up. Lauren talked with the nurse and it didn’t sound like COVID so she was told to wait it out. When Scarlett started having hallucinations Lauren and Jose brought her to the pediatrician. Only Lauren was allowed to go into the medical tent because of all the current restrictions. Lauren told the doctor her symptoms and they were again told it was likely just a flu bug and to take her home and let it run it’s course.
That night the hallucinations got worse so Lauren and Jose made the drive to Children’s hospital where they had to again make the decision of who could go in because they would only allow one parent in. Lauren went in thinking they would give Scarlett a bag of fluids and be on their way, but things quickly took a turn for the worse. Scarlett’s iron levels were very low, which required a blood transfusion and then came the news of Scarlett having leukemia. The army of white cells that should’ve been present to help her fight this was depleted. Scarlett’s little body was also trying to fight Strep G, but the combination of Strep G and the leukemia led to sepsis. This little girl who has always been so healthy and was smiling with her Easter basket just a few days prior was now fighting for her life.
After the transfusion Scarlett said, “Mommy” and a tear dripped down her face as her heart stopped. The doctors were able to stabilize Scarlett, but the cardiac arrest and sepsis led to multi-organ failure.
Jose was able to join Lauren at the hospital even with the COVID restrictions. Friday doctors decided Scarlett would be flown to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia because she needed to be on a ventilator and a dialysis machine and there were no dialysis machines available in New Jersey because of all the COVID patients.
Jose and Lauren met the helicopter there and were placed in a COVID screening room for most of the night. They started dialysis right away and waited until Scarlett was stable before moving her into the biggest and best ICU room. There seemed to be glimmers of hope. The leukemia Scarlett was diagnosed with has a 90% survival rate. The oncologist finally gave some hope.
Unfortunately the hope was short-lived. Doctors explained that the cardiac arrest had led to lack of oxygen getting to the brain and brain damage. Scarlett went to sleep in her daddy's arms. A week after they took that picture of their seemingly healthy, Irish dancing four year old, she was gone to be with Jesus.
As if the last week has not been enough of a nightmare, they now have had to make arrangements for where their baby will be laid to rest. All the COVID restrictions will prevent them from giving Scarlett the funeral with friends and family present. Scarlett deserved better than everything that happened in the last week and she deserves better than 8 people at her funeral. They just lost their baby and now they are having to think about the cost of a funeral and all the medical bills that will be coming their way.
Jess and I are asking all of you who joined together in prayer and support this last week to also join together for Lauren and Jose so they can focus on healing their broken hearts instead of the funeral costs and medical bills. Lauren and Jose would never ask anyone to do this, but we all know this is the least we can do to show them our support in this horribly painful time.
Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.
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