In December 2016, Monique had taken her daughter Mary Lee to the doctor because she was really struggling with a cold. The doctor recognized that she might need some antibiotics and sent her home to keep watch. Fortunately, Monique was keeping very close watch on her daughter because at 3am she stopped breathing altogether. Even more fortunate, Monique put her first aid training to the test and administered chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in order to revive her little girl.
Terrified, they rushed Mary Lee to their local Lethbridge hospital. There, the team began giving her steroids for croup and a variety of meds to help her breathing. Over the next few hours, things did not improve and in fact, they only deteriorated. Lethbridge reached out to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Transport Team as they knew that she was imminently in need of intubation. The team flew in on helicopter and Monique remembers feeling so relieved to see them take charge and explain everything that was going to happen. Mary Lee was intubated in the next room and then Monique had a chance to see her and say goodbye to her before she was whisked away to Calgary.
As her parents drove her and Derek to Calgary, they received reassuring updates from the crew as to where they were and how things were going. When they arrived at the hospital, they were informed that several tests were being run to determine what was going on with their baby girl. What they discovered is that she was the victim of the perfect storm of three viruses that attacked her system and caused everything to shut down. She remained intubated in ICU for five days under sedation. When it was time for her to come out, there were some scary moments as she wasn’t waking up immediately. There was concern she may have suffered some brain damage but thankfully, that didn’t prove to be the case. After a few more days up on the inpatient unit, Mary Lee was sent home in time for Christmas.
Monique is overwhelmed when she thinks what might have happened had they not been able to call the Transport Team from the ACH. Her little girl needed pediatric critical care expertise and they were able to bring it to her in time. She’s beyond grateful for the people who support a program like this and make it possible. It saved her little girl’s life.