Back in May, Ellie caught invasive Group A strep (iGAS) and was hospitalised twice during a nightmarish six-week period. She required multiple operations, chest and neck drains, and was kept asleep (for her comfort) for a total of 10 days in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Thankfully, Ellie made a full recovery. She is missing a front tooth that fell out because her breathing tube kept rubbing against it, and she has scars on her neck and chest from the operations and drains that were needed. They are small prices to pay for her recovery and constantly remind me to be grateful for every single day we've been able to spend together since.
A few months have now passed and Ellie is back to being a 'normal' kid again. She started school in September and has taken to it like a duck to water. Those six weeks back in May now feel like an age ago, with a lot of the details seeming hazy.
I decided that I was going to write about this ordeal whilst Ellie was in hospital, but it's taken me a long time to get around to doing it. My appetite for disclosing how much she went through has changed over time, and, where I originally wanted to cover all of the things that happened, now I don't feel like doing so. I've decided to talk about this whole ordeal now for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, it feels wrong to start posting about life and web development again without acknowledging what happened. After all, this was a major event in our lives, and even though it was truly horrible, to ignore it is like pretending that it never happened.
Secondly, I hope that posting this acts as a form of closure for my mind. It feels good to get these thoughts out of my head and onto paper.
I have to acknowledge the phenomenal care that Ellie received while in the hospital. Every nurse, doctor, and surgeon was amazing and the equipment in the intensive care unit was first-class. The NHS is always under scrutiny but it was there when we needed it the most. Our little girl is alive and well today because of it and the incredible people who work for it.
Finally, I want to give a huge shout-out to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, whose hotels allow families to stay close to their loved ones whilst they're in care. Susan and I were a five-minute walk away from Ellie the entire time she was in hospital and all the charity wanted from us was a £20 deposit for our room key - a fee I gladly let them keep. They provide an invaluable service and I will donate to them for life.