If you visit here often, you know we love Purdue...we're almost always sarcastic and we write this site because it gives us an outlet to vent when frustrated, virtually meet with fellow Boilers, voice our thoughts and concerns about the future of Purdue athletics, and get jabs in on Notre Dame and IU when they're available.
I'll be the first to admit that I love the Paint Crew's "IU Sucks" chant. It's thunderous, it's pretty harmless and it stokes the all-but-dorment rivalry that once burned white hot. Plus, Tom Crean's teams have given no argument against the chant.
All that said, IU's name is on something that is tremendous...and that entity helped save my daughter's life this week...and if you're up for a departure from what defines this site, please read on. If you're not, I won't be offended. But as a part-owner of Boiled Sports, this is what I want to write about tonight...so I'm doing it.
My family had some good friends over for dinner Sunday night. Dinner was tasty and went well. And after the meal, some of the kids went into the basement to play, and the two youngest stayed upstairs and hung around with the old people as we talked. Mrs. Boilerdowd asked me if I could feel that our daughter (sometimes referred to as Tiny Boilerdowd, or TBD, around here) had a bit of a fever. I confirmed it, but didn't think anything of it as she had acted normal all night.
As our friends left, our daughter became more and more tired-acting and curled up in Mom's lap- she's 16 months old...so that's not abnormal as she's a pretty cuddly baby. The two went upstairs so TBD could take a bath and get to bed. After a half hour or so, my wife, a Purdue-educated RN called me up with a horrible tone in her voice.
I came upstairs and found my little girl now completely lethargic. This was pretty abnormal as she's got Dad's personality and is usually really interactive...she burns hot, or is having a great time, there's really not much in-between with her. So seeing her nearly sleeping with her eyes open was bizarre.
We started testing her- calling her name, snapping and clapping and she seemed to become more and more distant. Her breathing changed to a gargle, and she started to vomit, but didn't wretch...just tilted her head and opened her mouth. The worry on my wife's face was obvious and horrifying. She assesses kids for a living at a pediatric doctor's office...and she was witnessing something that wasn't just a normal sick kid.
In a minute of time, we went from discussing trying to get her attention, to taking her to the ER to dialing 911 and having an ambulance take our daughter to the hospital. We're close to a fire station, so a fire engine and ambulance were at our house within about three minutes. During those three minutes I talked to the operator about what I had seen.
We met the paramedics at the front door with our now rigid daughter in my wife's arms. She stared into space as her pupils stayed large...and was no longer interacting with the outside world. My wife thought we were witnessing a febrile seizure, which is not too uncommon- about 5% of 2-4 year olds have them...but they're still scary, and the timing with the rapid fever lined up pretty well.
But those seizures usually last a few minutes and the child is OK in pretty short order (but the parents are scared). 10 minutes turned into a half hour...a half hour, now at the ER of the hospital near our home turned into an hour...and then two. Her coloring stayed good, her breathing didn't stop, but no one had answers and many in the ER seemed as confused as the little girl's Dad in the room with no medical treatment.
The team of 5 or 6 docs and nurses asked my wife where she wanted our daughter to go for further treatment- St. Vincent's or IU's Riley Hospital, she said St. Vincent's. It was closer, she used to work there and was comfortable with it. But someone in that room botched my wife's request, and soon we were being asked if we wanted the Riley Lifeline team to drive our daughter or take the Lifeline helicopter to downtown Indy.
I took umbrage with the fact that my wife's request had been disregarded, but in hindsight, I can say this mistake was the best thing that could have happened for my daughter. Since our daughter was stable, we said send the ambulance. When the Lifeline pediatric paramedics arrived, they took over the area, and the team of ER nurses and docs who had been working on our daughter rightfully gave them the floor.
Their equipment and training was geared toward kids, even undersized 16 month olds and they calmly worked on getting my little girl downtown to Riley Children's Hospital. Moments later, the two most important women in my life were heading downtown in a gigantic ambulance with IU emblazoned on the back.
Over the next few days, teams of neurologists, pulmonologists, MRI techs (including the sister of BS regular, Boilergal), internists, residents and extremely-capable nurses worked to get our daughter healthy and figure out what had happened. They didn't just treat her, but seemed to care for her. Just a note, one of the great nurses we came across was a Purdue girl...and you IU fans who are reading should note something: She was probably the best-looking nurse working in the gigantic building...just sayin'.
Anyway, it wasn't just the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and Pulmonary Floor that had an incredible culture of caring, it was the entire hospital. We wore pink bracelets that probably showed the staff exactly why we were there. Everybody treated us with kindness and care- from the janitors to administrators to billing...it was unlike anything I've ever been around.
We also learned about the Ronald McDonald House on site. As my wife expressed, it was an oasis that felt like home in the middle this hospital. My whole life I had seen commercials that talked about Riley and RMH, but never really understood why they were so special. We learned it first hand this week.
When you're fearing you might lose a child and you can't help but breaking into tears multiple times each day, you need every bit of caring and prayer you can receive just to get through. Our friends lifted us up with the prayers, and the great people working at IU's Riley hospital gave us further reason to believe, along with our faith.
There's but one banner that truly makes IU special in my eyes...and it's this one: