Rial was born on Sept. 12, 2000 she was 19 inches long and 7 lbs 6 oz.On Sunday, September 24th my wife and I took Rial to St. Peter's Hospital in Olympia because she was throwing-up continuously and crying with showing signs of some significant pain.The hospital immediately admitted her because her blood test indicated an infection somewhere in her body.
By the next Tuesday, 9/26, they discovered through various blood and lumbar tests and CAT scans that she had a bacterial infection in her blood and spinal fluid called Citrobacter Freundii and immediately transported her to U of Wash Regional Children's Hospital in Seattle with my wife by ambulance.When St. Peter's Hospital discovered this information they knew this complex bacteria was out of there league and concluded that the team of specialist at Children's would be more capable to handle this complex organism.
At Children's Hospital, they immediately started a series of more blood and spinal taps and MRIs and discovered that the infection entered her spinal column and gain entrance into her brain.They then began to give her very strong antibiotics.After a couple of days, Rial began to lose mobility in her legs and feet and lost her ability to urinate and then began having seizers due to the infection in her brain and later lost her ability to nurse.
They discovered through another MRI that she had inflammation in her spinal column and lesions in her brain.The bacteria Citrobacter is similar to e-coli as that it attacks the body the same way possibly resulting in Meningitis.This bacteria is commonly found in the intestinal track but is rarely ever seen as an infection in the blood.There are five different teams of doctors assign to her case, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Neurology, Radiology and Pediatrics.The Doctors at Children's are not sure how she caught this infection but they think that it entered through her urinary tracked, took seed in her bladder, moved into the kidneys and then entered the bloodstream.I asked one of the Infectious Disease team doctors how often they see this type of infection since this hospital's jurisdiction covers a six state region, he said that they may see this type of infection maybe once a year.
Her body has been fighting this infection so hard that she had lost weight and when down from her birth weight to 6 lbs 4 oz.During the course of this battle the doctors also discovered that she was not able to produce her own platelets and were very concern that she might bleed to death internally.The normal platelets count in blood for clotting is supposed to be 250,000, she was down to 23,000 which was dangerously low.Since she has been in the hospital she has had to have two plasma infusions to bring her platelets levels back up.
Currently, as the series of antibiotics treatment are coming to an end, they believe that they have the infection under control, and they are currently have begun doing bone marrow studies to find out why she is not producing her own platelets.They are hoping that her low platelet level is due to her body using so much energy to fight this infection that it can't keep up to replenish the supply.As she gets stronger this should level out to normal.
More blood and lumbar tests and MRIs on her brain are still schedule later this week or next to monitor the progress of her case.They have recently started to give her steroids to help reduce the swelling in her brain and have her also on seizer medication.
Rial has been in the hospital for 25 days and she is 5 weeks old.Her vital signs have been great through this whole thing and has begun nursing again.When she is awake she is very alert.The Neurology team are seeing significant improvements in her legs and she is urinating on her own.
Once the Doctors see consistent blood results, MRIs and weight gain, they may consider moving her back to St. Peter's Hospital to finish her treatment.There is possibly many days of physical therapy and MRIs ahead for us depending on how much, if any, damage has occurred to her brain.Too soon to tell...
My wife has not been home either as she has been by Rial's side everyday during this time.She misses being with our four other kids and sleeping and eating at home.The kids miss her a lot: we try to commute when we can.I have been doing the Mr. Mom thing at home taking care of my four other kids.Their ages are girl 8, girl 6, boy 4, and a boy 2.I have recently lost my new job and am currently unemployed due to the time I had to take for this family emergency and it is completely impossible to find another job right now with all this craziness.There is no income coming in except for the gigs I have been able to get playing jazz trombone.
We have received lots of phone calls with words of encouragement and prayer support.The Olympian newspaper is currently doing a story on our daughter which should be out tomorrow.When the City of Olympia Fire Department found out about our case, they put a donation fund together at a local bank to help meet our monthly needs:
Rial Lopez Fund Account #: 128209 Twin County Credit Union PO Box 718 Olympia, WA 98507-0718 (360) 357-9911 (800) 782-8228
Those of you that pray, please do!!Thanks for your time reading this message!GOD BLESS YOU!! Richard Lopez
PS: There will be a website of her picture soon....