Julia’s billboard ran from September 1 – October 2, 2011.
We are so thankful for everyone that donated to make it possible.
Julia was born a happy and healthy baby on 12-28-05, weighing in at 8# 2oz (SMALL in comparison to her older brother, a 10 pounder!)…..It was a scheduled C section and after a few days we all went home. Life went on. Yes, two young kids was stressful, but I had NO IDEA what God was preparing me for. Julia never really slept through the night until she was 9 months old. At NINE months……REPRIEVE!!!!!! God was Good!
Julia went in for her 12 month appointment the day after Christmas – 12-26-06….yes, TWO days before her first birthday. I was told by the nurse that we could not do her vaccines that day, as it was two days too soon. I looked at her with a face of irritation. I had taken the day off of work (I am a veterinarian)….and I KNEW that two days would not make a difference, so I asked to speak with the Doctor about the issue. I spoke to him. He said we had a “window” and that it was likely OK to give her her vaccines. She got the proquad – MMR-V- from Merck (taken off the market six months later), and a hepatitis vaccine. She screamed and cried as to be expected – her big brother rubbing her head the whole time telling her it was to keep her “safe”. I will NEVER forget this day.
Eight days later, January 4th, 2007, Julia was sent home from daycare – not acting right, whining, inconsolable, febrile, etc…I was working a 12 hour shift that day, so my now ex husband picked her up from daycare……….fed her dinner, bathed her, and put her to bed at 7pm. I got home at 830pm. Actually a little grateful that she finally got some sleep. Little did I know what was coming.
January 5th, 2007. I was in the shower, getting ready for work, and my then husband went to get Julia ready for daycare. He came running in from her room with her in his arms. He was SCREAMING……I got out of the shower, soaking wet and naked, and looked at our baby. I thought she was dead. Blue. Cold. Head arched to one side. No response to her name. Covered in feces and vomit. We put her on the bed and saw that she was breathing very shallow breaths……I called 911. Then the “circus” began.
Long story short………….she was life flighted to Miami Children’s Hospital. She was in PICU unconscious for about 10 days. She was then transported to the Neurology Ward, and stayed for a total of about a month. Diagnosis – encephalitis. Severe temporal sclerosis over the right side of her brain. More areas of “less” severe injury in both frontal lobes of her brain. When she left, she was SEVERELY left sided hemiplegic, was aspirating food unless thickened, was unable to sit up or roll over, was nonverbal, and screamed and cried 22 out of 24 hours a day. Back again to NOT SLEEPING for over three years.
I asked about the vaccine. I am a Doctor. I have seen what vaccines have done to animals. I have CAUSED the reactions that have happened to animals. I KNEW. BUT, every Dr, except one, told me to not even consider the VICP. I went with my gut, and the words of my ONE pediatric supporter, and I filed.
Over four years later – we got her settlement. The money – whatever – grateful to have it, as her expenses are unexplainable. BUT I JUST WANT MY DAUGHTER BACK. I would pay back 100 times what we got to have my beautiful Julia the way she was meant to be. Don’t get me wrong – we love her as she is. However, some days it is just overwhelming. She has improved greatly, and is functioning at an (average) two year level (still no functional communication) – though will be six in December 2011……
So, we got a settlement. I lost my husband and the kids lost their father who moved over 2000 miles away following our divorce and sees his kids two to three times a year for a few hours. I lost my house. I lost my father who just didn’t understand why I couldn’t “get over it and move on” and now doesn’t speak to me. I have lost many friends. My son has lost his normal life – now being a caregiver for his sister at only 8 years old (by his own choosing – we don’t encourage that role – he is 8). And MOST IMPORTANTLY, my daughter lost who she could have become. Again, who she is now – she is amazing – and she will change MANY people’s lives – so, I can live with that – but, wow, right now it is hard.
I met a man – single, never married, no kids, no baggage………….he stepped into our lives and has taken over the “dad” role like no other and I am forever grateful. How would I do this without him. Thank you Shawn for taking this on. I do not understand the reasons, but am thankful for it.