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Hayden Faith

Olivia was 16 months old when she developed flu-like symptoms. She followed in her brother’s footsteps as he had it first. After running a high temp for a few days, we visited the Doctor to learn Olivia had Strep. After three doses of the antibiotic Olivia’s condition seemed to worsen, so we went back to the Doctor.

This time Olivia was not holding her oxygen saturation, so she was admitted into Bryan East Hospital. She (accompanied by Mom) stayed overnight, and we learned the next day that she had double pneumonia. She needed a life flight to Children’s Hospital in Omaha because they could not help her in Lincoln. Before Olivia and I could make the life flight she needed to be hydrated and intubated to make the trip.

She went into respiratory arrest, and her heart stopped (2 times). This date we will never forget, October 28, 2009 as the day our baby girl lost life, but life was restored. Olivia was resuscitated after 30 minutes, but then coded again for another 30 minutes. She made the life flight to Omaha with only a heartbeat, no blood pressure or pulse.

Upon admission at Children’s, we learned Children’s only objective was to make our child a survivor of the devastation that had occurred in her little body. After 48 hours, blood and test results from UNMC revealed that Olivia had a rare strain of Para Influenza that caused the pneumonia and a long list of catastrophic events to her body. She was diagnosed with Myocarditis (Heart) Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (brain injury due to insufficient blood and oxygen during her arrests in Lincoln), multi-organ failure as she was intubated because she could not breath on her own. Her liver was also bad. After an MRI we would learn that she suffered a stroke also.

Olivia stayed in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) for 18 days, followed by another 9 day stay on 5th floor as she recovered to go to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln. Monday, November 23, 2009 via ambulance Olivia was transferred to Madonna, and there we stayed for 68 days. She continued outpatient therapy daily for another 6 months, and therapy has continued on in Olivia’s journey to recover from her devastating illness.

Our journey is marked not only by the miracle of Olivia’s life, but our strength and belief in Jesus Christ as HE alone is the giver of life. However, her life was sustained through the expertise provided by the talented medical professionals at Children’s Hospital. We know that our little girl would not have survived without that life flight to Children’s, and all the efforts of their trained staff. We are eternally grateful to Children’s Hospital, and so eager to give something back through the Dance Marathon!