Whitney and Dave Dyck would never have imagined that their newborn cold would turn into a health crisis so severe it could take his life.
At first, their son, Casey, has familiar symptoms: he was fussy, had a temperature and was congested. But his symptoms seemed to be getting worse, including trouble breathing.
At their local hospital, Casey’s condition worsened, as he suffered respiratory failure, leading to cardiac arrest. Casey underwent emergency CPR to save his life and was placed on a ventilator. “He went from being congested to having a cardiac arrest right in front of us,” Whitney recalls.
Casey was transported to BC Children’s Hospital where he then spent 26 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to recover from what turned out to be a severe respiratory virus and complications of cardiac arrest.
“We were told, ‘your little boy is very, very sick,’ ” Whitney says. “He had gone a long time without oxygen and we were told to expect severe brain damage.”
After a long stay in intensive care, BC Children’s Hospital’s intensivists found no abnormality in Casey’s brain function. “They told us, ‘your baby defies all logic,’” says Whitney.
While Casey’s brain function recovery was miraculous, he continued to have trouble breathing. Children’s Hospital specialists discovered his airway was 80% blocked due to being ventilated for an extensive period of time. Thankfully Casey’s airway was restored, and he is now growing and thriving like a typical baby.
Casey’s airway recovery is due in part to the flexible bronchoscope system that is the focus of our fundraising this evening. Thanks to this equipment, the specialist team were able to explore Casey’s critically narrow airways and perform a “balloon dilatation” procedure. This procedure applies force to the airway tissue, gently dilating and expanding the airway, allowing Casey to breathe again comfortably.
At BC Children’s Hospital, specialists in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and respiratory medicine, have expressed an urgent need for a similar bronchoscopy system and telescopes to ensure they can continue to perform routine surgical and emergency procedures. Caregivers also need a video laryngoscopy set that includes a tiny digital camera connected to a monitor. This will give them a clear view of a child’s vocal cords.
The generosity of participants at the 8th A Night of Miracles gala on Saturday, November 5 will help the hospital purchase this vital equipment.
Led by business and community leaders of BC’s South Asian community, and co-presented by RBC and Fasken Martineau, A Night of Miracles offers an exclusive opportunity to celebrate the tremendous contributions of the South Asian community to child health in BC.