Today Bobby and Ally had the pre-lims for the Western League championship swim meet. Ally swam 3 events and Bobby swam 2. I volunteered as a timer so I was kept pretty busy starting, stopping, recording, and trying to cheer on my kids' teammates.
About halfway through the meet our coach, John Foss, made an announcement that we had a special guest in the stands. There was silence and tears and finally, shocked and euphoric applause. And more tears. Uncontrollable tears.
Let's back up about 3 weeks. Ally and Bobby are at a swim meet. After their team cheer and coach's pep talk, they come back to the area where I had their towels laid out. They both had written on their arms, "I swim for Abby". I asked what that was about...
HEre's what I was told: a little 6-year-old girl named Abby, who is on our team and swims in Ally's lane, had a horrible accident involving a pool drain a day or so earlier. Evidently the drain cover at her club pool in Minneapolis was broken. As she played near the drain, she sat on it and became stuck, long enough for her intestines to be completely sucked out. She didn't die, but she could have. No one knew what happened. She stood up, told her mother she though she pooped in her pants and was heading to the bathroom. At this time she fainted, hit the edge of the pool and chipped out a tooth. She didn't die, but she could have. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital where no one could figure out what was wrong with her. She wasn't bleeding anywhere, just unable to stay conscious. But she didn't die. When her mom said something about thinking she'd pooped, the doc checked her rectum, noticing a small tear. Only when he examined further did he made the shocking discovery that there was "nothing up there". She had no colon. Rushing Abby lightening-fast up to the OR, they cut her open to discover pools of black blood and no intestine or colon.
The hospital called the Minneapolis Golf Glub and they searched the drain and found her intestines, but too much time had passed and it was way too late to try to save them. But she still was alive. This child would not die.
Her life is forever changed - she can't ever eat again. She has a tube the goes from her stomach straight outside her waist. If food goes in there, it has no where to go. She will either vomit or it will come out the little tube. She gets her nutrition from another tube that goes straight into a vein in her chest. Right now they are trying to get the nutrients just right so that her liver doesn't shut down. She's not out of the woods yet. Her nutritional needs will constantly change as she is a growing 6-year-old. This child is a miracle and she is amazing and she is on a life-long journey that no one envies.
And today she came to the meet today to cheer on her friends. When Ally was up on the block and the announcer stated her name and her club, she didn't wave at me - she waved frantically to Abby. Ally was swimming for Abby.
You are an inspiration and we love you! Thank you for coming to the meet today. You elevated the spirits of people you don't even know. We will continue to pray for your recovery and adjustment. God Bless you, Abby!!!!