Your Support Gave Drew a Second Chance
In November 2016, Drew was a happy, healthy two-year-old who had never been ill. “He had never even had an earache,” said Marissa, Drew’s mother. “Then one day, he had a very high fever. We took him to his pediatrician, who diagnosed him with allergies.” Marissa and her husband, Ricky, returned home with Drew, but soon noticed his breathing had changed. Terrified, the couple rushed him to the H-E-B Emergency Department at CHRISTUS Children’s. Physicians diagnosed Drew with pneumonia, and admitted him into the Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit.
“We were told that pneumonia usually clears within five days, so we were hopeful,” Marissa said. “But then things took an unexpected turn.” The pneumonia was getting worse. Dr. Neeraj Srivastava determined Drew had necrotizing pneumonia with empyema – a very rare complication of a bacterial lung infection, with dying lung tissue, which made Drew’s condition much more serious.
He was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and underwent surgery. Surgeon Dr. Barry Cofer performed a VATS procedure to clear out Drew’s lungs. He underwent a blood transfusion the next day.
Still very ill, Drew’s vitals dropped extremely low, causing him to go into cardiac arrest. The necrotizing pneumonia was also causing extensive damage to Drew’s right lung. Dr. Cofer performed a second surgery to clean out the lung and remove parts that were no longer viable.
“Drew finally started getting better after his second surgery; he was even able to come off the ventilator,” Marissa said. “We were finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, when we hit another setback.”
Drew was having an anaphylactic allergic reaction to antibiotics and was placed on a ventilator for two more days.
“He coded three different times. It was terrifying, but we always felt that he was in the best hands. They did things they didn’t have to do. It wasn’t standard care you would expect in any hospital – it was so much more,” Ricky added. “Every physician, nurse, Child Life specialist, and caretaker we interacted with treated us like family. We knew everyone genuinely cared about Drew’s well-being, and ours, too.”
Drew recovered and was moved to the rehabilitation unit, where he spent two weeks with physical, occupational, and speech therapists, re-learning how to walk, talk, and eat. He was fully released on December 23, 2016.
Thanks to donors like you, today, Drew is a fun-loving, sweet three-year-old. He loves trains and dinosaurs, and stays busy on the weekends playing t-ball and soccer.
“We can’t say enough about the incredible care we received at CHRISTUS Children’s. Drew fully recovered and is healthy, bright, and thriving. He’s a big brother now, too,” Marissa said. “The PICU team will always have a special place in our hearts. They gave us the greatest gift: Drew’s life.”