Summers story. (A senior with a courageous story)

by tatjannam

A little over a week ago I had a session with Summer. Going into the session I had no idea how emotional, heart warming and fun the session would be. I always talk to my clients when we meet up, just to get a good feel of their personalities, their expectations and wants. Summers session was no exception. I have sat here the last few hours trying to decide how to approach this post, I wanted it to be as lovely as the Summer is but I also wanted it to be an eye opener, because sometimes in life we simply forget to stop and smell the roses.  In the end decided to let Michelle (Summers mom) tell her story.

“Its kind of a long story, but here it goes. When Summer was 8 she was playing in the room with her sister. She came out and told me her neck hurt. Thinking it was something that they did while playing I didn’t think to much of it and told both girls to go to bed. the next day I took the girls to school and told the office if her neck still hurt to call me and I would take her to Doctor. Well they called me but she had vomited in class, not anything to do with her neck. I took her home and treated her symptoms, which were “flu like” after 3 days of “flu like symptoms” she seemed fine. she was going to go to school the next day, but woke up in the morning and came to my room telling me that she vomited in the bathroom sink. Thinking it was just the tail end of the flu I told her to go back to bed.   

 She woke up abut hour later and her fever was back, I gave her some chewable Tylenol, She chewed them like they were paste. I gave her a drink of water, but she went totally lathargic. I kept screaming at her asking her what her name was, but she just looked right through me.I had finally gotten her to sit on the couch, She would come to every now and then but for the most part she was larthgic. I called my husband at work and he told me to take her to hospital. I attempted to get her into my van, she started foaming from her mouth, not knowing what a seizure looks like I had no idea what was happening.

I pulled up behind a police officer on Central Ave W. and got his attention. he escorted me to West Campus ( they have no emergency facilities) They took Summer and I to East campus via ambulance. We were met with dr’s all over. She was having hallucinations and screaming like she was posessed. I’m not sure how many hours later, but we ended up in ICU, where she cont. to hallucinate and have seizures. The seizures were getting so bad that she was seizing more than breathing, so the intabated her, and eventually they put a “trach” in. We Spent from March until Aug in the hospital. They told us she wouldn’t make it out of the hospital, then when she did they told us she wouldn’t make it to the age of 10, well when that passed they said she wouldn’t make it to 18.

We had 24 hour nursing when we first brought her home, but now we have no outside help, its only family who takes care of her. She continues to have seizures but she is 19 now and walks when she feels like it, she eats from a feeding tube because she cant swallow, and is incontinent. and does not talk, but we believe she understands more than anyone knows. She has taught us how to be strong, and never give up

Summer is our inspiration. The dr’s finally after 2 years told us it was viral encephalitis. It ate away her brain and left holes. But it couldnt touch her spirit.
 Summer will graduate this year at the age of 19, once again something they told us would never happen.”

When I met Michelle, Cassie and Summer I had no idea of what was about to happen, but just being with them during our session was completely inspiring . The family, without words showed me the story of human strength and love and also to never take a moment for granted. This beautiful young lady has the strength to endure everything life has put in her path, I think we can all learn from the lesson she is teaching. Thank you Summer, Michelle and Cassie! And Congratulations to Summer for graduating this year!
learn more about viral encephalitis