**For those looking for current updates on Everett, please scroll down to the bottom of the post! Thank you!! **
Everett is a very smart, very serious, very sweet almost-3-year-old who happens to belong to a very dear friend of mine. Heather and I have been friends for 9 years, and even though she hasn’t lived in Charleston for 7 of those years, we’ve managed to maintain our friendship despite the distance between us.
You see, Heather’s husband, Blake, is in the Air Force. They’ve lived all over the country, and Blake is currently serving overseas. Heather and Everett, along with older brother Jaiden, and younger brother Cooper, are currently all living in California with Heather’s family. We miss them ever so much, but manage to stay in touch with Facebook and pre-planned phone calls.
|Me with Heather, summer of 2010.|
|Blake, Jaiden, Heather, and baby Everett, with little Cooper still in Mommy’s belly.|
A few days ago, Heather began posting that Everett wasn’t feeling well. Battling the stomach flu, Heather was worried that he wasn’t staying hydrated. After much worry and deliberation, she decided to take him to the local ER, in hopes that they could give him something to make him feel better. Upon the first visit it was decided that Ev simply had the stomach flu, and that the best course of action was to take him home, let him rest, and give him lots of fluids.
The next morning, Everett seemed worse. Heather was having a hard time getting him to drink anything, and she was worried about dehydration. Back to the ER they went. Everett was eventually admitted to the hospital, where they planned to keep him overnight for IV fluids and observation. Blood was drawn, and Heather settled in for a long night.
It quickly became apparent that Everett was dealing with more than just the stomach flu. Tests showed that his kidneys and liver were not functioning properly. Heather was told that Everett’s kidneys were shutting down, and that it was possible that he had contracted the E-coli virus. And the staff decided it was best to airlift Heather and Everett to a children’s hospital in San Francisco.
As if that wasn’t scary enough, Heather was told that, due to weather and weight restrictions, she would be unable to fly with Everett. She would have to drive. And the children’s hospital was 5 hours away.
|Little man, Everett, at the beach with us last year.|
|A very sandy Everett enjoying a juice box.|
Using her magic Mom card, Heather managed to wheedle her way onto the flight. A few hours later, Everett was admitted to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco.
In the short time that he’s been there, Everett has received 2 blood transfusions and has undergone 2 rounds of dialysis. His kidneys are functioning at 10%. Heather has been by his side every second of the way, and since her husband is serving his country overseas, and despite how much he longs to be there, Heather is there alone. Little Everett is fighting with all he’s got! But he’s still a sick little guy.
I’m asking everyone I know to support this family, in whatever way they see fit. Prayers, positive thoughts, lighting candles, quiet moments—Positivity Flowing Westward is all I’m asking for. Can we all make a pledge to take a moment, today and every day till Everett’s home again, to think of him? If we can, and we do, I’m convinced he’ll be the picture of health in no time flat.
Heather’s strength + Everett’s tenacity + family support and love + tons of positive thoughts and prayers from all around the world = the kind of math I can get behind. Let’s do this, readers!
About a year ago, when Everett came to visit us before he was even one year old, he and I bonded over an old Jackson Five song. It was playing in the kitchen while Heather and I were cooking dinner, and Everett scooted up to me, patted my leg, and lifted his arms to be picked up. I asked if he wanted to dance, and he nodded. And so, we danced. Every time I hear “La La Means I Love You” I think of little Everett. So I’m playin’ this song for you, Ev.
I will keep you all posted as I find out more!
**Update, 4/9/12: Easter arrived with lots of good news for Everett and his family! He has successfully urinated twice on his own since I first posted. His lab work is starting to show small improvements in his red blood cells, and he was even able to go all day Sunday without having to endure dialysis. There’s still a long road ahead of them, but Everett is beginning to show signs of healing. They are still unsure as to what introduced HUS into Everett’s system. After many blood tests it was concluded that the e-Coli virus was not the culprit.
I’m sharing a photo that Heather took of Everett opening his Easter basket, provided by the hospital, yesterday. It’s the smile that was seen around the world. With continued positivity and prayers, I’m sure that Everett will get better in no time! Thanks to all who are still praying!!