Together the family would need to relearn how to walk again, dance again and pray she would one day eat again. They put their complete faith in God, and sent their child out-of-state to college knowing the medical care nearby was what she needed. Tortured by discovering a medical error and being thrust into a world of chronic illness, they found losing themselves would reset their life to finding themselves again all while discovering the ultimate choreography of life was often found in the middle of a trauma. Throughout her journey Becca turns her experience into utter grace as she slowly relearns to walk again, and to live again. But first, she must find a way as a dancer to begin to express herself as an artist again. Where she once showed art in the movement of her body through dance, she would now express her art with her hands through sculpture. With her entire high school and community chanting “We Love Becca” and holding up the "HEART" she finds a hope again through a new energy source to rise up and take her art to the national art scholarship competition. Win or lose, she has found restored hope again in a miracle that can only be described as “where there is a will, there is a way” and “where there is God, there is always a will.”
TODAY: God walks with Becca everyday on the Pepperdine University, in beautiful Malibu, California. When doctors put her on pallitave care last spring, during the same time her father was diagnosed with cancer, the college gave her the "Mailbu Scholarship" and her family allowed her to leave her Colorado home to follow her dream. With a dream team of UCLA doctors & nurses, she is only 30 minutes up the coast on Pacific Highway, as she lives on a central line to her heart just to survive.
We laugh and we cry almost daily. While her story does not define her, it has produced a victory in her to LIVE DIFFERENTLY. She still will need two more surgeries going into year 2019. Being afraid is sometimes what makes us most brave; but we choose love over fear and hope over despair. Our hearts are with any child and parent whose has dealt with a medical mistake that has left them changed forever. We tell her story to advocate for victims and their families, and to help those pursuing medical careers to be thoughtful of the care they provide, not just at the bedside, but also when their patient is most vulnerable, in the OR.
The most inconceivable nightmare struck our family in June 2015. Our experience has been 95% amazing in the medical community, and we know doctors and nurses are fighting to save lives every day. We share her story with grace and compassion, for both victims and for medical professionals. May we all have healing from those rare mistakes that change a life forever.
Within days after a National Dance Championships in California, their daughter, 15 year old Becca, would go in for a routine hip surgery for a hip labral tear. She would never be the same again. Becca would fall victim to a serious "medical error" or more commonly called a"never event." A broken metal surgical instrument had broken off and was left inside her hip, piercing in her soft tissue between her hip joint like a knife. The Surgeon would not only not account for his tool, but he would also throw the rest of the tool away. As parents, we remember the first 24 hours all too well. From the time she was screaming in recovery to the first night in pain that was uncontrollable. When asking the Medical Chief later why no one had done an x-ray, it was stated "it was not protocol." Now, their are protocols in place to prevent this and the hospital counts and accounts for these types of tools. Becca would leave the downtown Denver Hospital in severe pain, her immune system compromised and throwing up blood. She would be taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital Colorado where they would save her life, yet not finding the instrument. Sadly, when Becca still could not walk many months later, the same physician ordered an MRI. This MRI on December 21, would lead to more serious damages from the metal instrument left inside her torquing & burning her soft tissue and being pulled by the magnetic imager. She developed a severe reaction of rare symptoms that would leave her parents pacing the hallways outside her bedroom door each night, and at times had shifts to just take watch or rush her to the ER.
It took one year before two surgeons together discovered the retained foreign body (RFB). The family was devastated. She would have more hip surgeries to repair all the mistakes, along with a surgery a Mayo Clinic to repair a compressed artery and help treat the systemic illness produced during the one year event. Today, she still cannot lift her leg above 30 degrees. This is devastating for a dancer. We now know her body went through a serious "flight or fight" response while her body was fighting to remove this RFB. Within days of the RFB being removed, doctors witnessed the transformation of everything else disappearing like a light switch. But, she was left with compressed arteries and severe gastroparesis. Basically, her digestive system is paralyzed and her immune system does not fire to triggers any longer.
Still, she plans to be a doctor, and one day make a difference. We continue to pray her body will heal and she will be able to carry out her dreams.
Pictured below...Becca with her two brothers, Mom and her Dance Studio Family, who wrapped their love around her through these past few years.