Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lily's story

One June 11th of this year, our faith was tested. Our lives were shaken to the very core and our family nearly shattered as our five year old daughter, Lily, fought for her life in a hospital.

That week started out with much anticipation. Sean, our son, had been looking forward to "camp son shine" for weeks and Lily had been looking forward to a very special birthday party. The party was to be Friday, June 11th.  On Monday the 7th, we drove Sean to camp. We were excited that he was getting the "big boy" adventure of staying three days at camp without us. He felt so grown up. Lily was a little down that she was too young, so we promised her a great week of  mommy & daddy time with just her. Each day that week we did something special. She loved every minute of it.

Friday arrived. It was the day of the much anticipated pool party for her friend. Thursday night, she carefully chose her swimsuit before going to bed.

I woke up Friday morning to something very rare. Lily was snuggled up beside me in our bed. Usually it's Sean who climbs in the bed with us. Lily has been extremely independent and full of confidence from a very young age, so it was nice that she had climbed in next to me that morning. As she lay there sleeping next to me, I dreaded getting up going to work. I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. I just enjoyed snuggling with my baby girl. I finally dragged myself out of bed and went to work. I was getting off at 3:00 that day and was coming strait back to pick her up for the party.

Finally the time arrived to leave for the big pool party. We drove to her friend's house with her favorite CD in and the volume in my Pilot almost maxed. We sang and laughed all the way to the party.
At the party, Lily ran, swam, slid and laughed with about 23 other little girls while I ran around clicking pictures of all the fun. About 30 minutes into the party, an unimaginable thing happened, Lily was noticed laying at the bottom of the pool. I remember a mother coming to me screaming "Heidi, someone went under and is being pulled out of the pool". I looked at her in a confused way and the next words out of her mouth made me sick to the pit of my stomach. "Heidi, the child is Lily". Thinking she just bobbed her head under and would be fine, I ran over to the pool area to get her.

I was not prepared for what I saw next. My baby girl was being placed on a lawn chair for CPR. She was grey, not breathing and her belly was distended. I gripped her little feet as two parents began CPR on her. I began to call upon Jesus. I was full of fear, terror, dread, guilt and anxiety. I think I felt just about every single emotion that a person can feel, rush through my body all in one moment of time. Everything felt like slow motion as I screamed out for someone to call 911. Of course, 911 had already been called. I was just unaware of everything around me. I was only focused on her. Her eyes were wide open and appeared to be fixed and dilated. Finally, after what seemed like hours....... a breath. But my nightmare was far from over.

Lily was transported by ambulance to our local hospital. On arrival, she was cold, blue, had dilated pupils, was posturing and had very shallow breaths. Her lungs were full of water. She was immediately put on a ventilator and the doctor came out to talk to us. He told us that she was in very critical condition and would need to be airlifted to a Children's hospital about an hour away from where we live. We could not fly with her.

Buddy and I drove while Lily flew in a helicopter. In the car, I gripped the bible while Buddy drove. We prayed almost the entire way. When we arrived, they directed us to the intensive care unit where Lily had been placed. The doctor there informed us immidiately that Lily was critical and that it would be a minute by minute journey with her the first 24 hours. We were hopeful for her because she did have a pulse on arrival to the ER in our hometown. However, she was showing signs of possible brain damage and no one knew for sure how long she had been submerged under water and went without oxygen. All we could do was pray and hope for a miracle. We learned that a friend created her a prayer group page on facebook and before we knew it, we had thousands of prayer warriors from all over the country, and even some in other countries, praying for our daughter. "Pray for Lily Murphy" now has over 5000 members.

For about 48 hours, Lily batteled a very high fever of over 105 and was placed on a cold bed to bring her body temperature down. After a few days she began to open her eyes and squeeze our fingers. On the fifth day, against the odds, she woke up and was taken off of the ventilator. Her first words were: "chocolate candy". What sweet words. I think that was even better than watching her take her first steps at one year old. It was like watching my newborn baby. I was just in awe of her. Little by little, she recovered. She had some setbacks and developed phnemonia. But it was all manageable. She was moved out of the intensive care and into a private room.

Miraculously, 12 days after she was lifeflighted into the hospital, she walked out. Healthy, vibrant and one hundred percent neurologically intact. What a little miracle she is.

Since her original recovery, Lily has batteled some effects from endotracheal tube damage in her little trachea. It is being managed with surgery and medication.  She had narrowing of her trachea and scar tissue. We are believing for a full recovery from that as well. She has had two surgeries already and will have a third one September the 10th. Lily has come such a long way but still needs your prayers. Please keep praying for our little miracle girl.


Jennifer said...

Wow!I cannot imagine how it felt to write this because just reading it takes me right back to that time. I will always remember where I was and what I was doing when I received a phone call that evening. I was stunned that my dearest friends were in the midst of the worst nightmare a parent can face. I'm so glad you wrote this as a reminder of the miracle we have seen. It is even more amazing now to look back on the events that took place and see what God did with Lily. Thank you for reminding me of what an awesome God we serve!

Steph said...

So grateful to God for your story! Thanks so much for sharing... may it be used to glorify God throughout the world! Can't wait to see what God has in store for Miss Lily!

michelle said...

This still makes my heart stop. It was so surreal then for me to "witness," but still to this day there are no words. We're praying that she continues to heal 100% and that her story continues to lead others to the Lord. I know we haven't seen y'all in almost 2 years, but you and your family hold a precious place in our hearts.

Louise said...

Heidi thank you so much for posting Lily's story. it must have been so hard for you to get it down on screen. I have been following the story through your sister-in-law Sabrina and thank God that Lily is on the up and doing better. I hope and pray that nothing like this happens to anyone again. Big hugs to Lily and Sean. (You and Buddy too)


Nancy said...

Oh my sweet friend, going through what your family did makes life so much more precious. I continue to have friends, strangers to you, ask about "little Lily". So many have been praying for her. I still think of her, of you and Buddy, and I always end with a prayer for safety and continued health. We will be praying for a complete recovery. We serve a beautiful God, one of mercy and grace. much love to you, Heidi ~ Nancy

Kristi said...

It was scary just reading your words. We prayed and prayed for Lilly and your family during those days, and I'm so thankful that she is here with you today! Thank you for the great testiment to God in your blog notes...

Heather said...

I am a friend of Nancy's and heard her plea for prayers for your precious daughter and family. I began praying then and praised God with you all as I heard of her miraculous recovery. Your story has reminded me many times to hug my babies a little tighter and stop some of the busyness to spend more time with them. I will be in prayer for Lily as she faces these medical issues. Praying she makes a complete recovery!

MMM&M said...

your daughter's eyes are stunning!!! I have a dark-haired, blue-eyed little girl too, so I am partial. So thankful to God for her healing, and praying for her upcoming surgery!