Alaina?ÇÖs story as told by her Mom, Amanda:
February 27, 2018 was a day in our lives that changed us forever. Alaina had not been feeling well for quite some time. She had struggled with multiple strep infections, allergies, exercise induced asthma, and just general fatigue. Last summer we sought treatment and they did a series of blood work. All of her bloodwork for white blood cells, red blood cells, etc., were normal. It did show that she had had a previous mycoplasma infection (basically walking pneumonia), low ferritin, low zinc, and low vitamin D. So, we started her on supplements to help her out, but she was not the best at taking them consistently. She started complaining of more frequent stomach aches, but often times it would be a strep infection. Her stomach aches seemed to get worse, so in October she went to an allergist who diagnosed her with an egg allergy. Her stomach aches seemed to get better, but her fatigue lingered on. We didn?ÇÖt think much about it because, like I said, she wasn?ÇÖt the best at taking her iron or vitamin d, which can both lead to fatigue when you are deficient.
Now, what led us to this point; Alaina had a soccer game on Saturday, February 24th and was complaining of shortness of breath. She used an inhaler prior to the game and during the game, but she was still struggling to breathe. She still managed to make two goals. It is ironic because this game ended up being her last soccer game for a while. Later that evening we were talking about soccer and how busy it was going to be because I signed her up for two indoor leagues. I said, this next weekend you?ÇÖll have a game Friday night and then two on Saturday. Alaina replied, "How am I going to do that, I won?ÇÖt be able to breathe because walking up the stairs at school I get out of breath.?Ç¥ She had also been complaining of pain on her side near her ribs. Mama started thinking, hmm that doesn?ÇÖt sound right. I made an appointment for Tuesday morning because I thought her asthma was getting worse. Monday evening Alaina awoke me at 2:00 am shivering, and bending over in pain saying her hips really hurt. She wanted to take a hot bath, so she did and I thought that maybe the flu was starting since my husband, Todd, had it a month prior. We went to the appointment in the morning and they did a flu swab and a rapid strep, which were both negative. I asked about doing bloodwork thinking maybe it?ÇÖs mycoplasma coming back and she?ÇÖs not showing any symptoms and we haven?ÇÖt had her ferritin checked in a while either. Todd took her home and I went to work (I work for the doctor?ÇÖs office that saw Alaina). A couple of hours later, the provider that we had seen, who is also my coworker, called me to the room and told me her white blood count was really high, and her platelets really low. That moment made me realize how special my work family really is. She called Sparrow Emergency Department and spoke directly with the pediatric physician on call. We came over around 1:30 pm and were in the emergency room until 10:00 pm. During that time of waiting they did repeat blood work and her counts got worse. We started to realize that something was not right when the attending pediatric inpatient physician snuck in our room prior to notifying the emergency room physician. She said due to Alaina's counts that she wanted to lay eyes on her. A little while later, a resident physician by the name of Dr. White came in and explained to us what they were suspecting, but told us that nothing was certain yet. Dr. White started explaining how white blood cells can be produced rapidly with nowhere to go and that is why she is having so much hip pain. Todd decided to go home and talk to our other two kids. The power was out at home, so he had to deal with that issue as well. While Todd was gone, Alaina and I met Dr Scott. He is an older man with a soothing voice, he explained to her that he did not like how her blood cells looked under the microscope and in kid?ÇÖs terms explained why she had to have a bone marrow biopsy the next morning. He told me that he has had 40 years of experience and he knew what her condition probably was, but he would not tell us until he had the results in hand. He assured me that what he thought she had was very treatable and curable. The rest of the night became a huge blur as we comforted Alaina and tried to stay strong for her.