Pediatric Rapid Response To Room 420

Ashton came through with his port implant, spinal and first injection yesterday very well…until…he woke from anesthesia   in a bad way. They called me in to recovery  and he was beside himself. He was, understandably, on oxygen and began to calm down slowly while he rested on me.

When they wheeled us back upstairs, I was laying next to him and something seemed immediately suspect. His chest was sinking in, as was his throat and his nostrils were flaring. I said, within a minute, something isn’t right and pushed the call button. Within two minutes, I think we counted something like 30 people in the room, including a Chaplain.

His airway was nearly closed and he was panicking and gasping for air, thrashing around the bed, cords  and lines tangling and he was just terrified. Two nurses were trying to hold him down, only making it worse.

A very wise resident said leave him alone, don’t touch him! We somehow got the mask near enough to his face to get him a bit of oxygen and the resident said, “get him some Ativan.”  After an X-ray there on the bed with me right next to him, they ascertained his airway was dangerously tiny.

We were then wheeled down to ICU where he received  Heliox rather than oxygen as well as steroids (x3), platelets and a plethora of other things to relieve him. He slept with the mask on and the aid of Ativan for about 8 hours and I watched his chest most of the night. We had the best nurse that night, named Erin.

After he woke up, he was still in distress. I can’t remember how many doctors, respiratory therapists, nurses we saw last night. He’s had the mask on most of the day until a couple of hours ago. He has since stabilized, though his airway is still messed up. He finally got ice chips, later, some juice and to his delight, a donut! With Sprinkles!

Now he is resting peacefully as we await the green light to leave ICU

I was really afraid he was going to suffocate. He is such a stubborn, little child, though. I should have known he would pull through it, even in all his fear.


  1. Auntie Jen

    This was the most terrifying experience I have ever encountered. When the Chaplin came to talk to my mom and me, my heart immediately dropped. I really thought the worst. I should have known better; there is no way that little boy will let anything knock him down for good! He’s my new hero! Love you Ash. I’m so proud of you.

  2. Nicole Kouri

    Your night sounds terrifying! Thankfully I read this after I saw fb post that you out of icu so that was a relief! Sending love your way!

  3. Rosalyn Cooper

    Hi Ash! We miss your fiery spunk! You are such a fun friend and we know you are a butt kicker….we are rooting for you everyday, little buddy. You’re superman! Never forget it! Lots of love, Rosalyn, Cordell, Quinn & baby Leighton

  4. Cordell Cooper

    Keep fighting, Ashton. You’re such a trooper! Kick Leukemia’s butt, and remember that you have a lot of people in this world who love you and are praying for you. Your Mommy is the BEST and she will take such great care of you. Keep fighting, be strong, and BE BRAVE. You are just like Spiderman, SUPER BRAVE! Keep it up, kiddo.

    • ashton.Admin

      Thank you, Cordell 🙂 He is so stubborn, there’s no way he will lose this battle.

  5. from the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans:

    “Praying for the Eternal Mysteries — the cloud of witnesses to gently lay a soothing cloak of peace over all in this tragic turn of events. On the morrow, I will pray upon the morning star.”

    Amen & amen . . . .

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