GILBERT — With the holiday season approaching, many people are left to reflect on what they are thankful for in the past year. For one Gilbert family, that is easy to answer.
In September of this year, Chad and Amber Bishop noticed that their nine year old daughter Addison was not feeling well and like most parents, took her to the doctor to see what was wrong and what could be done to help. At Logan Regional Medical Center, the young girl was diagnosed with strep throat.
For three days, Addison Bishop continued to worsen before her parents took her back to the doctor and yet again came home without answers. It was that night that Addison Bishop would take a turn for the worst and that Chad and Amber Bishop experienced something that no parent should have to experience.
“She woke up absolutely screaming,” said Amber Bishop. “It was unlike anything I had ever heard before. She was just screaming and crying and holding her head. I immediately knew something was very wrong and called 911.”
As Amber Bishop called 911, Addison Bishop began to have seizures and become unresponsive. It was then that Elite Care Ambulance service arrived and Elite Care Director Craig Blankenship began administering care to the young girl. Addison was given a drug that helped with her seizures and placed into the back of the ambulance to be rushed to Logan Regional Medical Center. While driving to the hospital, Addison had to be placed on a ventilator.
Upon arriving at Logan Regional, Cabell Huntington Hospital was called which then sent their specialized pediatric transport service. The team transports an average of 450 critically ill or injured infants and children each year. Research shows that specialized pediatric teams can reduce negative outcomes because life-saving skills for children are different from life-saving skills for adults. All transport team members are specially trained in advanced life-saving skills for pediatric patients.
The transport team is directed by Marie Frazier, MD, Eduardo Pino, MD, and J. Michael Waldeck, MD, who also serves as transport director. All three intensivists work in conjunction with pediatric specialists to provide the most appropriate care for your child during transport and after arrival.
According to Amber Bishop, watching the Cabell Huntington team come in was something unreal.
“I have never seen anything like that before,” said Amber Bishop. “They came in with their own equipment and they just went right to work. The next thing I knew, she was on the helicopter and we were on our way to Huntington.
Upon arriving in Huntington, Addison was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Pediatric bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening illness that results from bacterial infection of the meninges and leaves some survivors with significant sequelae.
Addison Bishop was treated at Cabell Huntington for ten days before she was allowed to leave and come home but her family and even her doctors confess that Addison Bishop is a walking miracle.
In a study that followed children who recovered from meningitis for 5-10 years, 1 of every 4 school-aged meningitis survivors had either serious and disabling sequelae or a functionally important behavior disorder or neuropsychiatric or auditory dysfunction that impaired their performance in school. Addison Bishop has shown no signs of lasting side effects.
“When you talk about what are we thankful for, we are so thankful for Addison,” said Amber Bishop. “And we are so thankful to everyone who had a hand in her recovery. Craig Blankenship, Dr. Robbie Long, Dr. Chris Flanagan, ER Nurse Tammy Blankenship, Joshua Justice from Elite Care, Dr. Biber and Dr. Flesher of the PICU, Dr. Williams, Dr. Pritt and the entire staff at Cabell Huntington Pediatric Floor. We are thankful to my mom, Nancy Hatfield and our entire family as well Addisons school, The Jammie Darrian Christian Academy, Bishop Anthony and Denise Hudgins and Lynn and Carlton Ellis. I am amazed by how our community just pulled together. Thank you to each and every one of you. You each had a hand in saving Addison’s life and I could never thank you enough.”
Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Gilbert Times. Madalin can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 304-664-8225.