Evelyn is a rambunctious two-year-old. As the youngest of four kids, she gets most of her mother and father's attention. That's because she's the youngest and because just ten months ago, she was seriously ill.
Evelyn was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication. Her kidneys couldn't function. She was admitted for tests at the UC Davis Children's hospital on Nov. 2 and ended up staying there for 19 days under the care of the Pediatric Nephrology team.
In short, Evelyn had an E. coli infection that knocked her down at just 16 months of age. The question is, where did she contract it?
"It was right around Halloween and we went to a petting zoo," Rebekah, Evelyn's mother, said. "Later she became sick and was extremely lethargic."
If there was an upside to a serious illness for Evelyn and her family, she was in the best hospital possible for treatment. With quick diagnosis and treatment, she did not need kidney dialysis for something that can be fatal.
Since then, little Evelyn continues to be monitored, but has made a complete recovery. Her family is so grateful for the care they received at the UC Davis Children's hospital, her family wanted to give something back.
Rebekah and her kids came by the hospital in June with gifts for other kids. They brought their own birthday gifts they thought other patients might like. They also added to the donations by buying additional toys.
Even though their baby girl was hospitalized for 19 days, somehow this was looked at as an amazing experience.
"Even the nurses, like they would have ideas like 'okay, she needs to get out of the room. Let's take her in the wagon,'" Rebekah said.
"They hooked up all the dialysis, all the everything, you know? She's got a train of stuff behind her wagon and just so that she could walk in the halls and like see people and they would let me take her outside, and they just didn't meet her physical needs. They met our emotional needs and they met her emotional needs and they really nurtured the whole person, and that to me was a very incredible experience."
Back at home in Rocklin, life has returned to normal. Evelyn's blood work is good and she's back rocking some playtime with her three siblings. It's almost like nothing happened, except for perspective gained.
"I think it showed me you could go through really hard things and then everything can be fine," Rebekah said. "And if you just remember that when you're in that hard moment, everything's going to be okay."
ABC10 is encouraging people to help ensure that children like Evelyn receive the care they need. Please join us Aug. 18 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® Mediathon. All day we will be sharing the stories of children who have been helped by the life-saving work of UC Davis Children's Hospital.
You can donate to UC Davis Children's Hospital here.