Shared by: Theresa Mendez
Winona is Sioux for first-born daughter. This is about three generations of strong, native Winona women.
On March 7, 2020, my family embarked on a journey that changed our lives. It strengthened our faith and determination, but most of all our love.
That Saturday, my daughter, Tasha, called frantic, screaming that she found her healthy 16-year-old daughter, Cecelia, not breathing. Her stepdad, Lewis, was doing CPR. Paramedics took her to Children’s Hospital. We all arrived at the hospital shocked about what happened.
Dr. Singh was one of the first doctors that helped explain what was happening. Cecelia had went into cardiac arrest and there was no oxygen getting to her brain. Stepping into that ICU room and seeing Cecelia laying there, hooked up to all kinds of machines and breathing tubes, was devastating. It broke me down into tears as it did everyone who came to visit.
Family and friends came for the first six days, then COVID-19 changed the world. Children’s Hospital was put on lockdown, and they only allowed two visitors, one at a time. I was so honored when Tasha chose me to stay with Cecelia. Over the next seven weeks, we took turns praying and encouraging Cecelia. We diligently took precautions coming back and forth from home to hospital and quarantined ourselves. It was harder for Tasha because she had just had a baby girl on December 23 in addition to four kids she had at home.
It took about two weeks before the medications worked. It was agonizing watching my granddaughter going through the process. There were no procedures being done so we had to wait for Dr. Singh to implant the fabulator which was done week seven.
Cecelia’s determination led her to walk out of the hospital on May 6. The OT, PT, and speech therapist were great in her recovery. We still don’t know what happened. All tests came back negative, even the genetic tests.
Nothing this traumatic has ever happened to our family. Cecelia is coming along in her recovery and continues to do all her OT, PT and speech exercises.
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