Imagine you have been in the same bed for 33 days, unable to move. You are paralyzed. You can't scratch an itch or reposition your body for comfort. You are in constant pain, often times excruciating. You can't breathe, a mechanical respirator is pumping 12 breaths a minute into your lungs to keep you alive. You are fully aware and although paralyzed you can feel sensations on your skin. Nurses and doctors and therapists are turning your body and poking and prodding you all day and night, you can't really seep. You have nausea, and cannot even go to the bathroom, you need to be catherized three time a day, and that is painful. The piece of plastic in your throat is irritating, and berating is sometimes difficult. Your trachea device needs to be suctioned to get our mucus about twice an hour, and when they do that you can't breathe at all. There is a hole in your throat which holds the breathing tube, and it is very uncomfortable. You can't hold a cell phone or do anything, your arms are lifeless. You have nightmares and hallucinations. Alarms go off all the time in your room from the machines hooked up to your body.
You are 12 years old, and went from a happy healthy girl to this in 6 hours.
Meet my daughter, Rhana Serene Fleming, this is her life for the past 33 days. She is a gymnast, honor student and secretary of her student council. She is at the PICU at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.
Yesterday it was snowing. She looked out the window, and said to me " I used to be able to play in the snow but not now" - then she said "Oh daddy, the good old days"
I cried. No 12 year old should have to say that.
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