Dade's Journey » 2016-May-06

Looking at Dade run around the playground with his peers you would never think he has had to overcome some big hurdles in life.  He happily runs around playing tag, laughing and joking with his friends. However his start in life was more than a little bumpy.  Dade was born on October 28, 2010.  After a perfectly normal pregnancy, his entry into the world was far from normal. After 4 hours of active labour it was decided that I would go for an emergency C-section. We were advised that this can be normal, and that the baby was not in distress but it was time for him to come. The procedure would last approximately 45 minutes and then the baby and I would be in the recovery room together.

After two hours in surgery and five doctors working on Dade and I, they finally were able to deliver him. He was delivered unresponsive and blue. He was immediately whisked away as doctors tried to resuscitate him. He was then put on a ventilator to breathe for him.

Dade was airlifted to the Children’s Hospital in London four hours after his birth while I remained in hospital. The doctors informed us that at the last minute he had flipped his head forward during delivery trying to come out face first. He also had turned his body horizontal in my pelvis causing his head to become stuck depriving him of oxygen. We were told that he was very ill and to prepare for a long stay in London while assessments and treatments were being done on him. Andy and my mom left the hospital immediately and flew to London to meet Dade. I stayed in Thunder Bay for three additional days as I was not medically stable enough to fly.

When Dade arrived in London, Andy was told to spend as much time with him as possible as babies this ill often do not survive past 48 hours.  Dade was placed on a cooling table to try to control the swelling in his head and brain. On the third day of Dade’s journey I was finally able to join them in London. I arrived at lunch time and had a quick visit with him then was brought back to my room to continue my recovery.

That evening Dade decided he was going to fight! This was not going to take him. We arrived in his room to see a lot of the swelling had come down in his head and he was starting to breath on his own. Within 24 hours Dade was off the breathing machine and the tubes were all removed.  He was alert and recognized our voices when we arrived into the unit. In the end, it was discovered that Dade was not oxygen deprived, but that during delivery he had crushed his carotid artery and had suffered a stroke. 

He stole everyone’s hearts in London; as he has continued to do so in the 5 years of his life. Nurses were fighting over feeding Dade and would regularly take him to visit other patients in the unit. We were headed home from London in 8 short days! When we were discharged, Dade had no use of his left arm. We were given some exercises to do as well as a referral to George Jeffery’s Children Centre.

We were quickly seen by a physiotherapist at the Centre and then by the rest of the team in the Infant Growth and Development Clinic.

Dade’s first year went by in a flash!  We were regularly seen by different clinicians at George Jeffrey’s. They quickly became a second family for us as well as a huge support system. They were just as excited as us to see the progress that he made. After a lot of hard work Dade was able to recover use of his left arm. 

Dade commenced school last year. When he started JK, George Jeffrey’s was yet again, there to help us navigate this new territory. We had meeting with both the school and Dade’s team from George Jeffrey to discuss his unique needs as he was fairly non-verbal at the time as well as being developmentally delayed.

Last summer Dade was invited to participate in the Soapbox races. He was so excited. He arrived, ready to go in his newly painted helmet that he was so proud to show anyone who would look his way! With a twinkle in his eye he climbed the hill ready for a new adventure.  The first ride down had him hooked. He spent the day encouraging his fellow racers to “race fast!”. We think he actually enjoyed it more when people were ahead of him in the race!  He still regularly discusses the races with us. He has a poster hanging in his room of him and his dad flying down the hill together. At the end of the day, he was nominated to receive the Sportsmanship Award and was so honoured to accept it. He can not wait to participate again this year!

Dade has made such remarkable progress from the day that he started this journey. Many of his clinicians made the comment that they just can’t quite figure him out. He is always surprising them or making them scratch their heads. We can’t wait to see what he will accomplish next!  - Submitted by Dade's mom, Kim

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