On Thursday evening I picked Dawn up from work at 6.00 pm because McDonalds sent her home; she wasn't feel well. I told Dawn on the way home she wasn't allowed to go to school on Friday and she was mad at me (she loved school).
On Friday Feb 3, 2000 Doug took her to the All-well walk in clinic to see Judy Schiek. Judy told Doug that she had the flu. Doug recalls her vomiting a lot that day and also says at the doctor's office she just clung on to him. Judy assured Doug that Dawn would be fine and to take her home and give her a Popsicle.
When I arrived home around 6:00 p.m. Dawn said she had a headache and that she didn't feel good. I gave her Tylenol. Dustin went and bought her a 7-up, she lay on the couch and had a blanket on her and watched TV. She was dozing off and on. She got up and was sick again. I told her if she was still sick in the morning I would take her back to the doctors - but I was satisfied knowing Doug had already taken her. Around midnight I started to sponge her down with a wet cloth to help break the fever.
At 4.00am I said to Dawn "I think your fever has finally broken. I just need to sleep for a couple of hours and I went to our bed. About a half an hour later I heard a thug - She had gotten up and tried to walk, but couldn't and collapsed. I asked if she was all right. She said no and she wanted a bath. She started to crawl to the bathroom and then she rolled over. I saw 5 small purple dots on her chest.
That's when I knew she had Meningitis.
I remembered the news story about Ryan the 17-year-old boy who died Jan 10, 2000. I screamed at Doug and then I ran downstairs and I got Dustin. I couldn't lift Dawn by myself. We drove her to the hospital, and I ran in grabbed a wheel chair. I didn't wait for a nurse to help and ran back to the van got Dawn in the Van and then said to the nurse that she has purple spots. They told me to go right in. There was another patient waiting and they said we have to take her first. The couple agreed. My head was spinning. We took her clothes off. They medicated her and then said to me that I had a very sick child but they thought it would be ok and that I got Dawn there in time. Dawn was moaning about her feet and ankles hurting. I went to kiss her and they told me I couldn't. Then they gave her rock, a drug that paralyzes her. She was then prepared to be transferred to U of A.
I called Karen and asked her to pray. Doug phoned my parents and we waited for Dawn to be ok to be moved. Finally we were told to meet them there. I asked if I could go in the ambulance and they said no, there wasn't enough room. On Monday morning we were asked to sign the papers because they were going to do a by-pass, but something spiritual happened and they didn't have to. Once again we thought she would be ok. Unfortunately - things took a turn for the worse again. All week it was ok, then not. I went to the chapel and one-day I opened the bible to hope, I called Risa and she came and massaged Dawn. Then they brought her in a new mattress (air) very expensive. On Wednesday they hooked up the kidney machine and once that was in place Doug and I came home. Raelene and Rick stayed at the hospital that night. There was no Dads room to sleep at the hospital, only a moms room (three tiny beds.) Any ways at 5:00 a.m. Danelle (her twin) woke up and she came downstairs where I was making coffee. She said mommy my lower back is in incredible pain and I said she was feeling the kidney machine and Dawn's pain. Twins do that. I asked if she wanted to come to the hospital and she said YES. I started to head for the stairs when the phone rang. It was Uncle Rick. He said Dee, I think you better come.
They came and got Dawn and said she had minor bleeding in the brain. I woke Doug up and three of us went. Around 10:00 am they called Doug and myself in and said our child was brain dead, but wouldn't be able to officially state that until 4 hours later. We choose to pull the lifeline 4 hours later. I had this weird inner passion inside me to let others know so I call Bruce Hogel. He wasn't in so I left him a voice message. I called John at SCTI to let him know. He asked if I had someone there or if I needed him to come. Bruce called me back and the nurse asked if I knew someone at CFRN. They were panicking that I went public. They said I would start a public panic.
I said that I new Bruce personally and felt comfortable that he would tell my story in a professional way. Cathy Hudson heard I was at the hospital and dropped in. She asked what she could do. I told Cathy to get a hold of the media as soon as possible.
None of my family understood my urgency to call the media in but no one knew what to do or say.
I just lost my child.
I remember the cameras, news reporters' etc. On Sunday morning I said to Doug no more. He said honey it worked. they are vaccinating the teens. That's not what I wanted. I wanted every one vaccinated. I had two children outside the age range and I didn't think that emotionally I could deal with this again. Doug and I went down to the registries and opened a meningitis organization because we couldn't find one.