Mom to Adam James
November 13th, 2010 - January 11th, 2011
Adam had a cold a few days before the hospitalization that led to his death. He was our fussy little guy, but with his cold, his fussiness increased. He slept a lot and when he was awake, he fussed. He had a lot of congestion, which made it difficult for him to eat. We were constantly using the bulb syringe to help him breathe better. Around 10:30 pm on 1-9-11, I fed Adam and then gave him to my husband so that I could go to bed. Adam was smiling and coo'ing away with my husband, and we both sat back and enjoyed it for about a half hour since this was the first time we saw Adam be so happy in a few days. We both even asked him if he was feeling better. Around 11:30 or so, I headed to bed and my husband stayed up with Adam.
Around 1:00 am on 1-10-11, I woke up to my husband screaming my name. I was asleep so I thought maybe I imagined it, but I heard my husband talking on the phone. I went to the top of the stairs and heard him talking about Adam choking and not breathing. My heart sank. My husband's phone cut out while on the line with 911, so he then yelled for me to call 911. I did, and from that point on, the rest is a blur. It ends in Adam being taken out of our home with paramedics. My husband went with them, and I stayed home with our 2 year old daughter and just waited.
My husband called while at the hospital and explained that while I was sleeping, Adam had spit up a large amount of brown-colored phlegm. He said that he saw the phlegm hit Adam's tongue and then immediately went back down his throat. This is when Adam started choking and stopped breathing. My husband said he attempted the heimlich maneuver and CPR and could not resuscitate Adam. He also told me that the paramedics could not either, and that Adam had not been breathing for about an hour. My husband called me at a later point and told me that Adam's brain had significant swelling and was being taken to another hospital better equipped to handle the nature of his injuries.
When we first got to see Adam, it was truly heartbreaking. He had a neck brace on, was connected to a breathing tube, among many other tubes and wires. That entire day was spent stabilizing him and keeping him comfortable. We were told that the lack of oxygen for so long was what led to his bran swelling and that he did not have any brain functioning, other than breathing, which he was barely doing on his own. We were informed that Adam would not recover and would not have any type of life, if any, off of the breathing tube. By the end of the day, his brain had swelled so much that now his eyes were starting to dilate separately. The neurologists stated they wanted to run further tests on him the next day to further assess the situation.
On 1-11-11, Adam had deteriorated further. His brain was now crushing his brain stem, which would eventually, but quickly, lead to further loss of bodily functions. We spent most of that day grasping what was happening and saying our good-byes, as we made the decision to take him off of his breathing tube. This was done at 6:06 pm. Adam would take large breaths in, hold it, and then exhale very deeply and hold it, and then small gasps of air in between. Every time he took those large breaths and then exhaled, we thought he was gone. Then he would take the small ones, like he was saying, "Nope! Still here!" It sounds weird, but we laughed at these moments. Adam always did things his own way, even in his short little life. His breathing eventually slowed down significantly, and he passed away at 8:45 pm.
We miss Adam so much and cannot believe we are dealing with this. It's a nightmare that I wish I could wake from. You never ever think that something like this would happen to you. I am left with many emotions and unanswered questions. I wish I could go back in time and save him.
Kelly blogs at http://natalieandadamsjourney.