I know the flu this year has been particularly devastating, but nothing is driving that home like the story of my 4 year old cousin Levi Kimberling.
On February 4th Levi came down with the flu, two days later his parents Jill and Randy Kimberling brought him to the hospital when his temperature hit 104.9. The doctors told them it was typical flu symptoms and Levi simply needed Tylenol and rest. However, a few days later when symptoms had still not cleared up Jill brought little Levi to the emergency room where he was immediately sent to the Pediatric ICU at Sacred Heart where he is currently.
I'll let his dad explain the rest better than I can from a post on their GoFundMe page:
So the history of what is happening to Levi.
February 2nd was the last day Levi went to school, and all was fine, over the weekend he played like always. Around Sunday he started a fever and I kept him home from school, Tuesday the fever hit 104.9 and on Wednesday we took him to his doctor at Rockwood clinic. They told us his lungs sound good nothing in there and to go home and treat him with Tylenol. At that time he felt miserable was coughing like crazy and had a constant fever. He did not do any better Thursday and by Friday night neither Levi, Mom or Dad could sleep do to all of coughing attempts to throw crap up that wasn’t there.
Saturday morning Jill took him to Holy Family hospital they instantly admitted him and started IV’s and called for an ambulance to send him to Sacred Heart! They did a chest X-ray and knew something was up they could see infection to the point his entire left lung was engulfed in bad stuff.
Saturday afternoon ride in an ambulance to Sacred Heart got him to here where he payed on Dad from the bed to the rocking chair till Sunday afternoon when Mom got there. For everyone this was the last time anyone has been able to hold him! He was moved Sunday afternoon to PICU he was given a chest tube and it pulled out a lowly 10cc which we were thrilled with.
Sunday was rough, lots of fluid and coughing and he was placed on a ventilator. Come Monday the chest tube was moved and they immediately pulled 375 cc of mucus from his lungs and then his tube dropped another 150cc. So at this point he has his own tree of 6 antibiotics and is fighting for his life. At this point we know that his left lung is basically just necrotic. We were told he is the sickest kid in the PICU and has a minimum one one nurse standing I. His tiny room at a time. They moved the chest tube again and got another 500cc out and a constant drip by Tuesday afternoon he had dropped out another 100cc and is not going in the right direction.
Wednesday is the worst day ever his number are continually falling with everything they are doing. He is getting pressure up and down and they are trying to get him back. He has had so many X-rays (around 6 a day), ultra sounds around twice a day, and he has had a couple CT scans. At some point he popped a hole in his lung and that filled his chest cavity. They were putting a warming blanket under him and turned him and his heart stopped from the pressure! The Sacred Heart PICU Nursing staff performed CPR and got him back; they are so amazing! Now he literally cannot be moved he is on paralytics so he can’t move himself.
They have drained around 1800cc of fluid out of him, and he has been given blood. He gets lots of IV fluids and antibiotics they are working 24/7 to keep him with us. He is a fighter and his heart is so strong that is the only reason he is still here.
They have We are in search of the right answers but the ventilator he is currently on is working and the next step is to potentially change that to a different style of ventilator. The doctors are all talking back and forth and we have seen no less than 20 who are telling us they have all reached out to their colleagues from just about every major child hospital in the USA. They have all been informed of his situation and have been following closely since Sunday night. The medical staff are all putting their heads together to keep him alive and I can’t thank them enough for that day I get to hold my baby boy again!
Since then there have been updates of the ups and downs on the following Facebook Page: Levi's Fight. He still remains in the pediatric ICU. He is currently in stable condition, but by no means out of the woods.
Some of my other relatives have set up the following GoFundMe page as Levi's parents have had to take time off work and will surely be racked by medical bills. Anything you can give is endlessly appreciated, and even if you could just pause to give this little man a prayer or positive thought he needs all the help he can get.