By Kristina Gray
The cries of my seven-month-old son, Keller, awakened me very early on June 12, 2011. My husband, Reggie, and I tried to comfort him, but he would not stop crying. Soon, we took him to the emergency room. By that time, his lips had already turned blue.
The emergency center team determined that Keller's condition was so serious that he needed to be transferred immediately to Texas Children's Hospital's Main Campus in the Texas Medical Center by the Kangaroo Crew—a specialized transport service for critically ill babies and children.
I rode with him on what seemed like the longest and scariest 40-mile trip ever. When we arrived, we were shocked to learn that Keller had asthma, a collapsed lung and double pneumonia. He had seemed perfectly healthy the day before and had no prior health issues.
Unfortunately, things got worse. The oral steroids Keller needed could not be administered for another 48 hours. His health continued to decline rapidly. In the pediatric intensive care unit, one of the specialists told us: "Keller is the sickest child here right now, and we are preparing for his other organs to start shutting down."
Nothing prepares a parent to hear that your son may die. We dropped to our knees and prayed. The hospital staff comforted us in that awful moment when hope seemed dim.
On June 14, Keller was able to receive oral steroids. He responded well and began to improve each day. Keller remained in intensive care for one more week, but what a precious gift it was for my husband, Reggie, to finally hold our son again on Father's Day, June 19.
From our first interaction with the Kangaroo Crew, we knew Keller was in good hands—and so were we. An entire team of pediatric specialists came together to consistently provide compassionate, high-quality care. "It felt like a bunch of friends were with us, watching over our child," said Reggie.
Today, Keller is a healthy 6-year-old boy. He still has asthma and is on a daily treatment regimen, but there have been no more critical health problems. And now, because of the wonderful doctors at Texas Children's, he wants to be a doctor someday.
Reggie and I are so thankful for Texas Children's, and we are dedicated to telling others about this wonderful place where miracles happen every day.