She popped into the kitchen where I was working and then suddenly collapsed on the floor. I ran over to investigate what was going on. As I frantically picked her up, her eyes rolled back and blood began pouring from her nose.
Terrified and unsure what was wrong, we rushed her by ambulance to the local emergency room in our hometown of Red Deer, Alberta. An x-ray revealed that Amélie had swallowed a small foreign object, later identified as a lithium coin battery.
How or where my daughter found this battery, I still do not know. However, the events that followed after this accidental ingestion were life altering.
Amélie was then transferred by ambulance to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, nearly two hours away. Upon arrival, she went into cardiac arrest twice before undergoing emergency heart surgery.
The battery, having mixed with saliva, had ruptured Amélie’s esophagus, trachea, aorta, and carotid left artery. The injuries had caused Amélie to suffer a stroke on the left side of her brain and subdural bleeding on the right side of her brain.
My angel is a fighter, and despite a grim outlook, she survived! She spent over a month at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, between intensive care units, medications to prevent clotting and rehab. The stroke had paralyzed the right side of her body, so Amélie needed to relearn how to walk, move her whole body and to swallow safely, including being fed through a G-Tube.
When people look at photos of our family they often think everything has returned to our perfect life, but how it looks on the outside does not always reflect what happens behind closed doors.