Living in an era of the Internet, where information is disseminated easily and rapidly, deciding what information and how much detail to share can be difficult. We've received multiple inquiries about our silence on social media lately and finding the appropriate response has been a challenge. I consider Instagram to be a digital photo album where we preserve memories. However, there are some moments in life that we'd rather not remember.
While this story I'm about to share is not a secret, it is personal. And sometimes social media can feel impersonal, frivolous, and even invasive. However, we've always strived for honesty, and more importantly, we realize the inquiries are coming from a place of genuine concern.
Last Saturday night, Leanne had a choking incident so severe that she turned blue and lost consciousness. An ambulance was called and fortunately, she began breathing before the paramedics arrived.
Given that we are currently experiencing a global pandemic, the paramedics confirmed that her vitals were strong, and advised against taking her to the emergency room. Leanne's physicians have been notified, and she is scheduled to have an EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy) next Wednesday.
That incident was the most terrifying experience of my life. But in reflecting on that traumatic moment, Mr. (Fred) Rogers famous quote comes to mind,
"Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
Everyone was outside, and when I went to the door and screamed for help, multiple neighbors came running. Travis dialed 911 and followed the instructions provided by the dispatch operator. Our neighbor appeared in the doorway and he picked Leanne up and attempted to do the Heimlich. He did not leave her side until the paramedics arrived. His wife lead the triage, addressing the needs of the various family members. Another neighbor ran to get a doctor who lives down the street. One neighbor ushered Biddy outside while other neighbors rallied to distract and calm my children. And one neighbor held me while I sobbed.
The heroism of this group of people who heard my cry for help, had no clue what was happening, and came running anyway is something that I will never forget. When the EMT's arrived, one asked if everyone standing in our home was family and my next door neighbor replied, "We're neighbors but we are a family." And that means so much to someone who has so little family left.
At Leanne's pre-op appointment today, I tried explaining how terrified I felt and the doctor said, "I get it; she's your person."
I thought about that for a long time afterwards and ultimately concluded that Leanne is not my 'person'." Travis is 'my person'." Leanne's role in my life transcends human relationships for me. She's like a guardian angel who has always been by my side. I don't know who I am without her.
And that leads me to why I am sharing this story: When Leanne finally regained consciousness and calmed down, she addressed each of my neighbors individually and insisted that they pray for her. She named their children and insisted that their children pray for her. Leave it to our diva to demand a prayer vigil in her own honor. Travis says "That's the moment I knew she was okay."
To that point, please keep Leanne in your thoughts and prayers as we take the necessary measures to ensure that her health is restored.
The blogosphere prayer warriors have always been there for us and we truly appreciate your concern and support.
Rooting for your family. I’m so sorry this happen. So glad you have a neighborhood that so loving. I also have an older sister with DS. Like you said she is your living guardian angel.ReplyDelete
I truly recognize Leanne as an angel. I know I am a stranger to you but I was worried about y'all. I will definitely pray with her & for her & for all of you <3ReplyDelete
I am so sorry that happened. I can't imagine how terrifying that incident was for all of you! I laughed aloud at your description of Leanne requesting her own prayer warrior chain, though. That's actually quite endearing! :)ReplyDelete
Oh, goodness, thank god she's okay! You have an amazing, and an incredible neighborhood family. This was a beautiful post. Prayers that Aunt Leanne and your whole family remain safe!ReplyDelete
I am so sorry that you all had to experience that very scary situation. I am thankful Leanne is feeling better. Please let Miss Leanne know that we are joining her Prayer Vigil. Sending love to all.ReplyDelete
Sending love to you, Leanne and your family. You are all in my thoughts in prayers.ReplyDelete
Praying for Leanne and all of you. XoReplyDelete
I will definitely keep Leanne and your family in my prayers!ReplyDelete
Sending you so much strength and bright light.ReplyDelete
It reminds me of the first time I found my (autistic) daughter unresponsive. She was stiff and I was a wreck and couldn’t control the adrenaline running through me to see if she was breathing. She was, turns out she had a seizure. But that moment was the most horrific. Sending your family good thoughts and a full recovery. I have enjoyed reading your blog and following on IG.
Praying for Leann and all of you (including your sweet neighbors). What a scary thing to witness and go through. I am so glad she came to and no ER trip was necessary. I have followed your blog, then your instagram for several years. Your family feels like family to me. Please keep us updated on what you find out.ReplyDelete
So glad that Leanne is ok. Will be praying for her...and you on Wednesday.ReplyDelete
Thoughts and prayers. Her poor lips look chapped...ReplyDelete
I'm crying reading this! We are experiencing something like this with Stacey! She's been choking lately but not to the point where she can't breathe. I know the terror you felt...Stacey had her first seizure this year and you described my feelings exactly. Thank God she is ok Can you tell me more about the procedure Leanne is having and what kind of Dr we should go to?? I feel sure we need to do the same thing. Tell Leanne we are praying for her.ReplyDelete
I am so happy to hear that Leanne is doing better. I will also say a prayer for her health. I know how scary this all is. I have an aunt with Down Syndrome who I grew up with. She is our little angel and I don't know what I would do without her. I have experienced similar situations with her and know how traumatic it is. Leanne is so blessed to have such an amazing and loving family and loving community around her. XoxoReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing such a personal and frightening experience. I'm so happy Leanne is okay. Praying for your family.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry, what a terrible scare for all of you. I am so glad you live in a community full of such love and care. Sending big love.ReplyDelete
That sounds so scary just reading about it, I can only imagine how terrifying it was to live it! Your neighbors sound like angels and I'm so glad they were there for Leanne, you and the whole family. Leanne, you be careful and take care of yourself!ReplyDelete
Sending positive thoughts for Leanne and all of you.ReplyDelete
love love love and peace to you allReplyDelete
I'm so sorry to hear this. My oldest son has D.S. and respiratory issues, and I always get a wee bit nervous when I hear him cough while eating. I will pray for Leanne and all of you.ReplyDelete
So scary. I am so very happy that all of your neighbors came to help. And even more happy that she recovered without needing to go to the ER. I hope that the rest reveals what needs to be done to help her. 💕ReplyDelete
How scary and terrifying! I'm so glad she is ok. I love that quote too. I'll be praying for all of you. It's so great to have good neighbors.ReplyDelete
Loving best wishes to Leanne and you all!ReplyDelete
I'm over here crying after reading this post. I'm so glad Leanne is OK after that incident, and I'm so moved by your neighbors' response. Definitely praying for Leanne's health!ReplyDelete
Love and hugs to you and your angel Leanne, always. All the way from England. I am isolating alone as I have CP, and all my family members, including my ‘person’ and twin sister, are currently still working... so I feel you. I am lost. Much love to you fabulous six. You make sunshine happen and for that I am grateful. Please always stay who you are, all of the time. XxxxReplyDelete
I am an OT student, an ABA therapist, and have the absolute honor of having a best friend who has down syndrome. I wanted to thank you for sharing all of these stories because over the past almost two years I have learned so much from them. I am twenty and have only had this best friend for about 5 years, and before that had little experience with individuals with downsyndrome. After reading your blogs and Instagram posts, I have been able to further my relationship with my friend, and feel so much more comfortable when certain situations arise. Thank you so much for all you do, and for teaching people like myself things that they need to know in order to be good friends (and good therapists) many prayers and much love to you and your beautiful family!ReplyDelete