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Ammarah is known to make a big deal when she’s sick. That’s why, when she came down with flu-like symptoms but hardly complained, her mom didn’t think much of it. Ammarah didn’t want to eat, was lethargic and had vomited, but since she wasn’t making a fuss, Noshy assumed it was a stomach bug that would pass in a day or two. However, when the symptoms worsened and she came down with a fever, Health Link, ordered them to go the Alberta Children’s Hospital right away.
Since Ammarah hadn’t been able to keep anything down, she was hooked up to several IVs to get fluids into her system immediately. Dr. Anna Shawyer suspected Ammarah was suffering from appendicitis, but couldn’t possibly know the extent of it without surgery. She hoped the appendix could be removed without complications and Ammarah could attend an upcoming school trip to San Francisco that she’d been looking forward to. Unfortunately, Dr. Shawyer found that Ammarah’s appendix had completely burst and it was worse than she could have imagined. During a 2.5-hour surgery, Dr. Shawyer had to remove various parts of the ruptured appendix. Ammarah spent 10 days in hospital recovering and was finally able to go home, but after only a few days, she was admitted again due to an infection. Noshy says it was so hard to watch her normally-fit teenage daughter so weak and helpless, even needing help even getting in and out of bed.
Ammarah was in hospital for two more weeks and even after she got to go home, she was still fighting off infection, struggling to eat and losing weight. It was a difficult period both physically and emotionally, as Amarrah had to miss her school trip, her Grade 9 grad and the entire last month of school. Slowly but surely she began to recover from the complete havoc that had been wreaked on her body, though her mom says it was four months before she felt like herself again.
Ammarah is now back in good health and was able to move on to Grade 10 this year. Noshy says “As much as you don’t want to be in hospital, we couldn’t have had a better experience.” She said staff went out of their way to make both Ammarah as well as family members who were staying with her comfortable in their temporary home. She was so thankful for the amenities, entertainment and activities available to them during their stay and was so impressed by the dedication of staff, including a doctor who rushed in from home at midnight to see Ammarah after learning her fever had spiked.