Cassi Bacon is a busy nine-year-old girl and loves to be involved! She enjoys sports and has played soccer, basketball, and volleyball. She is currently swimming with our local swim club and was recently chosen to be a Student Council Rep for her third grade class. Having one arm has really not slowed her down much. She rides her bike with ease and even attempted the zip line at her church camp last summer! She has had two-prosthesis and is currently in the fitting process to get a new prosthesis with an electric hand. Her willingness to try new things is an inspiration to us. She is truly amazing and does not let her physical challenge slow her down.
Cassi was born on August 21, 2004. The pregnancy went very well, and an ultrasound two weeks earlier had shown a baby girl who appeared to be perfectly healthy. During the late afternoon of August 21, Saturday, I noticed that the baby wasn’t moving around as much as she usually did. We decided to call our doctor and check with him about the recent change. Thankfully, he was very proactive and suggested that I go to Lafayette Home Hospital for a stress test. Testing showed that her heart rate was not responding to stimulus as quickly as the doctor would have liked. He decided that she needed to be delivered as quickly as possible and performed a C-section that night. She was born around 1:00 am Sunday morning. My doctor then said “The arm…is she okay?” When the pediatrician responded, “We’re working on her”, fear gripped me. Her apgar scores were low, and I knew that was not a good sign either. She was placed in the NICU and several specialists looked at her. It’s very difficult to explain what her arm looked like at that point. Each possible diagnosis was ruled out, and she was transported to Riley Hospital on Monday morning. The fear and anxiety that my husband and I felt as we watched the Riley Transport Team pull away with our precious baby was overwhelming. Upon arrival at Riley, she was taken directly to the NICU where there was a team of doctors waiting for us. It didn’t take long for them to make a diagnosis. Ultrasounds showed several blood clots had formed in Cassi’s neck area. The largest of these, had completely stopped the flow of blood to her left arm and the arm tissue was simply dying due to the lack of oxygen. Once the diagnosis was made, we were told that Cassi would lose her left arm. It was too badly damaged and would have to be amputated. Hearing that news would seem to be the worst scenario possible, but after the fear of losing our precious little girl, our only questions was, “When? Let’s do it and get our baby home.” She came through the surgery fine and was only in recovery for a short time. The NICU staff was amazed to see us walk back into their unit. The next challenge came when the bandages came off and we saw her ‘little arm’. As we prepared to go home, we learned how to change bandages, clean surgical wounds, and give injections. We were told that Cassi would need daily injections of Lovenox for 6 months so that all the blood clots would be gone. We’ve only needed the surgery services of Riley Hospital once since the amputation, but we are so thankful that we live close to Riley and were able to get the help that we needed for our precious baby girl. Our family will be forever grateful for the wonderful doctors, nurses, and all the support staff at Riley.
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