It’s amazing how your life can change in a moment. You hear people say “things happen for a reason”. Then things happen that make you question everything.
Karson had headed into his first wrestling tournament November 18, 2018 and managed to finish in 2nd place. I watched him beaming, so happy his first season was successful. He came home and called me later that night, saying he had a headache and worried he may have a concussion. I told him I wanted to come to pick him up, but he didn’t want to leave. He said he was fine, it was probably just a headache. He continued to say he just had a headache, but didn’t show any signs of a concussion. The following week, he said he had a headache. We had him checked out by the school’s trainer. He said he didn’t think he had a concussion, but would get him in to see their sports medicine doctor.
The sports medicine doctor diagnosed him with a concussion. That diagnosis dragged out, it seemed to worsen with time. Eventually at school, he was hit in the head with a cabinet door. After that, things continued to get worse quickly. We tried physical therapy, vestibular therapy and additional doctor visits. Nothing was making him better. His left eye started to cross. I called the doctors office, concerned about his eye. The doctor was out of town, but his assistant assured me that this was normal, she wasn’t concerned. The following week, I called and insisted that he needed an appointment. They worked him in a few days later.
His doctor took one look at Karson and asked how long his eye had been turned in. He was very concerned. He told us he needed an MRI right away. He left the room to schedule an appointment that day. He got us in to KU Med West. We had to wait 2 hours. Two hours felt like 4 or 5 hours. We got Karson to his appointment, he wasn’t walking well because he wasn’t feeling well. By this time, I was a bull in a China shop. I wanted answers and I was so afraid, anticipating what our answers may be, knowing that the medical team was concerned.
I walked Karson outside to the MRI, it was a brisk day, but we couldn’t even feel the cold. Our focus was on Karson and anticipation of what we were about to learn. The staff was friendly, asking Karson about his injury. I watched them load him into the tunnel, then I was walked back to sit in the waiting room with my mom. I sat there for what seemed 5 minutes when the nurse came to the waiting room to ask me to come back into the MRI booth. The Radiologist was on the phone waiting to talk to me. I spoke with the Radiologist. He was speaking very quickly about foreign subjects that would all become very familiar, very quickly. He explained that Karson had an Arachnoid cyst rupture. He had fluid surrounding his brain, which was putting pressure and stress on his brain. He told me he was working to see which hospital they could take Karson to.
The doctor asked to talk to the nurse. They wanted to know if I was stable to drive, they were recommending that they wanted to take Karson to the hospital in an ambulance. After phone calls with 2 hospitals, it was determined we would do a direct admittance into Children’s Mercy.
On our way to Children’s Mercy, Dr. Garcia (Karson’s Neuro Surgeon) called me to make sure we were on our way, and to give me directions to get into the hospital to have Karson admitted.
When we made it to Karson’s hospital room, we met Dr. Garcia and he reviewed Karson’s brain scans. Dr. Garcia explained the more about the ruptured Arachnoid Cyst. He showed us the fluid surrounding his brain. He said he was recommending surgery. I asked when he would need to have surgery. Dr. Garcia explained that he had booked the OR for the following morning as soon as he had seen his MRI results.
Karson had a Crainiotomy the next morning, Saturday, December 16th. They wheeled him off with a baseball in his hands. He went through surgery with flying colors. The staff at the hospital couldn’t have been any better to Karson. He even managed to meet Tyreek Hill, get a signed ball from him AND get introduced on the news, showing his photo with Tyreek.
We went back home and everything was getting better. Out of nowhere, Karson’s head began to swell. We brought him to the ER, but they let us go. Karson kept getting worse and seemed disoriented. I called Dr. Garcia’s office. They asked to have him come in immediately. Karson and I went to Children’s Mercy. We had a direct admittance into the hospital, had a CAT scan and found that he had a brain bleed. Karson needed to directly into surgery again, to have a Temporary Subdural Drain installed. He needed to lie flat on his back for the next 5 days to let the blood drain out of his head.
He missed 80 days of school in his 7th grade year.
Karson is doing great. We have been told that it is a miracle he is alive. Some things really do happen for a reason, we are lucky he is here.