Can you even imagine being told that your 9-year-old child needs an operation to literally cut apart the two halves of his brain. The surgery will help to stop debilitating seizure activity but that a lot of the outcome from the procedure is unknown such as how his language, mobility and even personality will be effected.
I have a dear friend who helped us with getting Magpie going through this right now.
Gina, over at Special Happens is giving her son Jackson his best chance in life and I want to do everything I can to help her help him. She is an amazing woman, full of support and love for those around her and I feel blessed to be able to return that love and hope some of you can help me.
Over the course of the next months the family will need a lot of assistance with travel and medical expenses so if you can donate please head over to do so HERE. I know times are tough, but we know first hand know how much even the donations of a simple dollar can help add up and bring tremendous encouragement in times of darkness!
For those of you unable to donate there is an awesome project going on to flood Jackson with cards from around the world. Grab your kids and have a fun evening with crayons and stickers making homemade banners and cards (Jackson loves trains, rainbows and balloons). Have no kids? No problem, who doesn’t love a postcard! Got a pet or an awesome service dog like Magpie, take a cute pic and send that to him. Lets let little Jackson (and his family) know that each card represents a prayer or thoughts of love for them during this time in their lives.
Cards/care packages/ letters:
Special Happens / St. Aubin Family
9609 S. University Blvd., #630303
Littleton, CO 80163
I just got off the phone with the vet and Magpie is WALKING! He said she isn’t even wobbly when she gets taken outside and she is looking fantastic. They are running blood work right now to check some things like her liver, since the toxin is known to damage it. If all comes back clear we can bring Deeds girl home today.
Deeds did not want to go to school again and I was only able to get him to leave by telling him we would take him up to see her after, how amazing would it be if she was here when he got home?!?
I want to thank the amazing people at Fox 13 News for surprising us and doing that story yesterday. We have gotten amazing support and reading the messages people have left for us has helped us through. To all who have donated we say a prayer of thanks for every dollar given to help Magpie and you have made this a holiday season one our family will never forget and want to be able to pay forward.
Hopefully this is the scene we will see after she’s gotten rest here at home:
Jeremy and I spent some time with Magpie this afternoon. At first she was still pretty out of it and could only try to lift her head when she heard us come in but by the time we left almost 2 hours later she was doing SO much better. The pictures I’m showing we took right before we left.
She is still acting unusual but we can tell she is really fighting. The doctor wants to do some x-rays on her chest to see how her lungs are doing from the aspiration last night but her breathing has improved. We are really optimistic and starting to believe that she will be able to return tomorrow and continue her recovery here.
We can not thank everyone enough for all the prayers, wishes and help during this time. I can not even begin to explain how hard this has been and how last night we fully expected to get a call that she had passed away. Our prayer now is that she will not only recover but be able to remain Deeds certified service dog and continue to work with her boy. He misses her dearly.
We will continue to keep you all posted, and Fox 13 News here in Utah will be doing a short follow-up story about our girl tonight at 5pm and 9pm MST.
We have had a few people ask how they can help in addition to the thousands of prayers being said on Magpie’s behalf. I can’t be blind to the fact that regardless how things turn out for Magpie this is going to be quite expensive. We are not expecting more than prayers from anyone but if you do have an extra dollar to help her we would appreciate it dearly. Her initial vet visit from the first veterinarian has been taken care of but the stay and care at the Animal Hospital is something that will be quite expensive.
I did contact the hospital and they said that anyone wanting to donate to Magpie’s care is welcome to call them at (385)351-5474 and they can take payments over the phone. If they ask for the name the account is under it would be Barbara Mauss but they will probably know who you are talking about if you just say Magpie the service dog. She is at Southeast valley Animal Hospital.
If doing a donation online is easier please know that anything donated to Deeds fund will be going towards the care of Magpie at this time and so donations can be made by clicking on the paypal link here on this page.
We appreciate that so many of you have asked how to help and we will let you know how Magpie is doing later. We have made plans to go visit her this afternoon after 2pm MST. All we truly ask right now is prayers, prayers and more prayers for Deeds girl.
I just got off the phone with the Animal Hospital that Magpie is staying at. Good news is she is no longer having seizures and isn’t showing that the snail bait is in her system anymore. She is not out of the woods yet however because there seem to be other complications going on.
When we dropped her off we were told they would keep her on sedation during the night to keep the seizures at bay. This morning they told me they never once sedated her because she still can’t stand up or move. They are waiting and hoping that it is because the first dose of sedation just hasn’t worn off. She still has a high fever but is no longer being incubated and is awake. They are keeping her on the antibiotics and told me they would be shocked if she was able to come home tonight. They said they will call this evening with an update and I just don’t know how I’m going to make it all day not knowing how she is. Hope they don’t mind a couple calls during the day to check on her.
Deeds was awake most of the night. When I would check on him he would be awake just sitting in his bed. He asked where she was again this morning and then said he didn’t want to go to school. He told us he was tired and just wanted to sleep with Magpie on his bed.
We are still praying that Magpie shows more signs of improvement and stands up. I asked the doctor if she was going to survive since she made it through the night and he said they were still watching her very close and they still don’t know.
We are so amazing at the love and support from everyone. Jeremy and I sit together and read all the comments and just cry. I am glad Deeds is at school today but not sure how we are going to handle bedtime tonight with Magpie still gone.
Magpie and her boy at Church
I just got home from the emergency animal hospital we transferred Magpie to. Once we got there it became apparent that her IV had stopped working and she had aspirated during the 30 minute drive. They put another breathing tube in and instantly stuff started to come out. When we asked if that was supposed to happen they said no and jumped into action giving her antibiotics for her lungs and fixing her IV. They also started to heat her up since during the transfer her temperature dropped a bit. I took one picture of our baby and then I had to wait up front.
The doctor came and talked to us about how just dealing with the poisons is one thing but the aspiration in her lungs now can complicate things. He told me to keep my phone on tonight and he will call if anything changes but not to expect her home before tomorrow evening at the soonest. Even if she pulls through the next 12 hours he said with the lung issue now she may need to stay longer than that.
I sit at my computer just in tears at the amazing messages coming to me via email, phone, Twitter and Facebook. Many from people I know but such touching words from some I haven’t met before. Our hearts are breaking and our house has a little cloud over it tonight. We explained to Deeds that Magpie had to stay in the hospital and he wants her home.
For those of you new to our story, we started the process to get a service dog for Deeds because of his autism, PVL, mild CP, and Epilepsy over a year ago. In October of this year our dreams came true and we flew to Ohio for two weeks to get and be trained on how to handle Magpie. From day one she was a part of our family and we have seen the amazing things she has done to help our boy. She isn’t just a dog…she is Deeds dog. His companion, protector, and friend. She is an amazing service dog and we pray that she will be home with us again soon. She is a fighter and we hope she keeps fighting!!
We already miss you Mag’s, come home to us soon.
Deeds and his new friend JP
This morning Magpie and I realized the honeymoon was over. I was grumpy and wanted her to be on her A game and she wanted to play. Poor little thing and I took a little while to get into the swing of things but once we headed out for tracking she was all business. She once again found Deeds like a champion and then got fitted into her harness for our first group outing to the mall.
Deeds and Daddy heading out to do some tracking trails
Magpie getting ready to track her boy
My mom took both kids to the hotel for naps. Deeds had a seizure last night and was SO grumpy and tired we decided our first public outing would be easier with just Jeremy and I.
Magpie ran into some of Deeds friends at the mall.
Training class at the mall
The only issue we had in the mall was when I tried to walk into a store with a large stuffed tiger guarding the door. Magpie dug in all 4 paws and barked once. We’ve never heard her bark so it was a bit of a shock to me but I didn’t even think about that large tiger. The trainer came over and helped us handle it and we ended up having no more problems while we were walking around.
Once we finished we went back to the mall and grabbed my mom and the kids for some dinner. Our first restaurant outing with Magpie. It went fantastically. She just laid under the table and we chuckled as people sitting around us would all of a sudden notice her after she’d been laying there for 20 minutes. She never moved a muscle even with food falling around her.
Sister at dinner
Magpie at dinner under the table
The only tricky public outing we did today was the grocery store. There was a lot of people there and having the food at shelf level she would stop to sniff a bit but once I corrected her and told her to heel she snapped back into Magpie the wonder dog.
Deeds and Magpie relaxing before bed
She is now snuggled as close to Deeds as he will let her while he plays with the iPad before bed. We’ve worn her out today but she has proven her worth over and over again. She is starting to feel like a real part of the family and I am so grateful to 4 Paws for having such an amazing organization and to all those who helped get us here!
Friday night Deeds had one of his worst seizures to date. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a seizure but by the time all was said and done we were convinced. His neurologist also confirmed after that she believed it was a seizure and just unique because of the medication he is on.
With this seizure he fell down the stairs. He wasn’t hurt, but it sure gave me a scare.
Someone asked recently what good the service dog will be since it can’t actually stop a seizure. The dog can hopefully warn us that a seizure is coming on so that we can avoid things like falling down the stairs. When Deeds seizes he drops to the ground and if he is standing in a high area or in a bathtub this can be quite dangerous. The dogs are often helpful post seizure as well. After seizures Deeds is completely drained and often doesn’t communicate very well. Meltdowns occur within a few hours and we hope Magpie will be a calming influence on him to assist during these times.
Today Deeds neurologist at the children’s hospital let us know that our little man has Epilepsy since the seizures seem to be sticking around. The doctor decided it is time to start medication slowly to see if they can control his seizures. They aren’t that frequent right now but since last November when they started they are gradually increasing. The doctor talked to me for a long time about medication before I felt comfortable with options she gave us. The doctor was THRILLED when she heard about the service dog being trained in seizure alert.
I’m confused and slightly overwhelmed with yet another diagnosis. The list is sure growing, good news is that Deeds is doing really well with the autism so I guess bring it on. Together we can handle anything.
Almost exactly 7 months ago this happened and rocked our world. Deeds 3rd birthday turned into a trip to the ER because of a burn from boiling water, that trip to the ER turned into an ambulance ride to the University of Utah Hospital Burn Unit in Salt Lake. The night it happened and the weeks that followed were a nightmare for Jeremy, myself and anyone else who was wonderful enough to help with it. We still deal with issues with the skin on Deeds face and hand because of the burn, and he has some scars that won’t ever go away from it, and patches of hair that wont grow. But all in all he has healed beautifully and we are blessed.
Deeds 2 days post burn, eyes swollen shut.
Since March I have been battling with our insurance company, who so far won’t pay for anything other than the initial ER visit. Thousands and thousands of dollars, and each phone call I have to make to the hospital (who have been wonderful) or the insurance company and I relive those days. I just want to scream at the people on the other end of the phone who keep making us jump through hoops, only to deny us each time.
Today after an hour on the phone with them, and 3 service reps later I was in tears, just sobbing that I kept being told different things. FINALLY after I broke down the woman gave me the information and direct address to appeal. I don’t know why that information hadn’t ever been mentioned earlier in the call till the 3rd person and my hysterics. Now I’m off to write a formal appeal and then wait, again, and pray that this time all the money we’ve been paying for insurance will pay off for us and they will cover Deeds burn. I’m ready to put this entire nightmare behind us.
Sitting with Sock Monkey and Blankie 2 days post burn
Deeds 7 Months later