Condition: E.Coli
City, State: OR
Club: High Lakes Elementary School Sparrow Club Service Hours: 256
Date Adopted: 2/13/2009

Jet's Story:
(4.9.09) (Submitted by Sarah Valenzuela) Jet Valenzuela is a typical 3 ? year old boy that loves construction and dirt. He loves to read books and play. He is very resilient and amazing. I am always impressed with his polite and caring attitude. He has the ability to talk a mile a minute and to ask more questions than a scientist. On September 28, 2008, he became sick with the E. coli virus. At first it seemed like a normal flu virus but it quickly started to make him very ill. He was constantly bleeding from his behind and vomiting blood. We were very worried about him and rushed him to St. Charles Hospital. He was in a lot of pain and very lethargic. Unfortunately you can not treat E. coli so we had to watch him suffer. It was such a helpless feeling. On the fifth day his kidneys shut down so we were airlifted to Legacy Emmanuel Children's Hospital in Portland. The staff at Emmanuel were waiting for us and immediately went to work putting in a central artery line so Jet could start dialysis. He stayed steady for a few days or so until he started having a hard time breathing and was very uncomfortable. My son's life flashed before us as we watched him crash. The doctors pumped his chest until his heart started beating normally. It turned out that he had acute renal failure. They had to put him into a medically induced coma until his heart and lungs could work normally on their own. He needed many blood transfusions because of his total blood loss. His dialysis was now cleaning his blood 24 hours a day instead of a couple hours a day. It seemed like he was in the coma forever, but I think it was a week or so. Finally his heart started working again and he was breathing normally. When he came out of the coma it was very hard on him because he was physically addicted to many strong drugs that were keeping him asleep and comfortable. He was slowly weaned off the drugs by lowering the doses and switching to longer lasting ones. He was unable to talk because the tube that was in his throat helping him to breath caused his throat to swell. He was also unable to move any body parts. He was like a newborn. It was very hard to see. He didn't care about not being able to move but not being able to talk really upset him. He had respiratory therapists coming multiple times daily to try to help his throat heal faster. There were also speech, physical, and occupational therapists coming daily to try to help his body recover. Slowly Jet started to get better in every way except he wouldn't eat any food and couldn't drink liquids. After doing a barium study we found out that the flap in his throat was not working fast enough. All of his liquids that he drank were going directly into his lungs. We had to wait until the flap was working normal before we could leave. We had been in the hospitals for about 40 days now. All of us were so happy to leave. Jet was sent home with a feeding tube in his nose because he still didn't eat. I took him to outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapist when he got home. He was improving in every way except for the eating part. After a month later he was still not eating and was still vomiting. The doctors were concerned and wanted to do another type of barium study to see what was going on inside. It ended up that he had a narrowing in his colon. We had to go back to Emmanuel Hospital to get it fixed. The doctor went inside within a scope to try and fix the narrowing but it was perforated and popped when the scope was inserted. He was getting toxic stool all inside his body from the popped stricture. They preformed an emergency surgery to fix it and found two more strictures that were also about to explode. The surgeon cut all three strictures out and gave jet a temporary loop ileostomy so the stool would bypass all of the unhealed parts of his intestine. Today he still has the ostomy bag, but is pretty comfortable with it. He got used to it faster than most of us would have. It


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