Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My First 911 Call

K, so I definitely think a lot more before typing when I know it's going to be shared with more than just my bedroom closet, where I store my journal. Good thing Scott already did this one for me!!! I'm going to let the letter Scott typed up and sent out to our family last Sunday be our first blog post. The event he wrote about was actually what inspired this blog. I don't want to leave anything out and I want pictures to accompany what I write! That's what this blog is for.

HERE IS THE EMAIL: It tells the story of what happened 3 days ago, but more importantly, gives you useful information in case this ever happens to you!

Hey all,                                                                 Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just thought I would send this email because education is so important in scary moments with kids and people we love. Last night Steph and I were sitting on the couch talking with her uncle and aunt while holding Sydney who was feeling under the weather all day. She was running a slight fever but nothing too alarming, just sleepy. Anyways, I took Sydney from Stephanie who had been holding her for the past half hour. About a minute or so after taking her and holding her, I felt her begin to tense up as she lay on my shoulder so I lowered her down so I could see her. As I lowered her, we could see her slowly going unconscious as she stared blankly and unresponsively. I stood up seeing something was wrong and as I stood, she began to convulse and it was clear that she was having a seizure. I laid her on the carpet and monitored her labored breathing and kept her from choking on saliva and having something block her airway. It was obviously terrifying and being first time parents, we were anxious and scared. Stephanie frantically called 911 while her uncle and I gave Sydney a blessing. During the episode, which probably lasted a little more than a minute, but felt like an eternity, we felt things would be ok but were worried. After the seizure stopped, Sydney was obviously wiped out and was limp and unresponsive. She wanted to fall asleep, but not having a response from her to know that she was out of the seizure completely, I tried to continually startle her to get her to intermittently open her eyes and let out a moan. She continued breathing, though it was labored. Sydney continually grew more conscious but she struggled to recognize voices and was not responding very well. It was obvious that her little body was completely wiped out from the short seizure as she could not lift her arms, head, or legs. She lay helpless, but so precious on the ground. We felt so bad for her but knew things would be ok as her situation improved. Stephanie was waving down the ambulance while I continued to watch Syd.
                                 Courtesy of my sister Mel who arrived just after we got in the ambulence.

The paramedics soon arrived and were able to get her oxygen, monitor her heart, and educate us on what was happening a little more. We took Sydney to the hospital in the ambulance (thankfully we just got on some good insurance that we didn't think we would qualify for) and after a few hours there we were back home. 

Now for the real reason I wanted to write. It is so important to know how to react in these scary situations and knowing what was going on would have put me more at ease (I don't think it would have helped Steph much -- she's the mom).  Sydney had a febrile seizure. Maybe some of you know what these are and how to react, but if not please TAKE the 15 minutes to read some of the links below so that you are better prepared if this were to happen with any of your kids. Hopefully it never does, it is a terrible thing to go through as a parent, but being prepared would certainly have helped. Febrile seizures are basically harmless and is just the way a toddlers body reacts to a sudden spike in temperature. It isn't the degree of temperature as much as it is the sudden change that causes the poor kids body to seize by lowering their seizure threshold very quickly in that moment. Syd's temp was just above 102 (not too terrible but obviously above her threshold). The sudden spike was caused by an ear infection we didn't know she had. We have all had a little virus over the past few days but up until a few hours previously Sydney didn't really show signs of being ill.

So, moral of the story, read about these seizures, especially if your kids are between 6 months and 6 years, so you are prepared but hopefully this never happens. About 3-5% of kids in this age range have febrile seizure, most commonly between 12 and 18 months (Syd is 16).  But, they usually have ties to family history so even though we have never experienced these, it may be in our genes! Sydney is doing great, just on an antibiotic for her ear and tylenol to keep the temp down. We love you all, hope all is well and that you are having a good Sunday. Thanks for everything!
Syd looks like such a big baby here! Size-wise...she's allowed to be a big baby after a seizure. ;)

Scott, Stephanie, Sydney Walton

The only advice I don't agree with, after having just gone through this, is to wait on calling 911. If your first kid is having their first seizure, I am not going to pull out a stop watch and see if the seizure is lasting more than 3 or so minutes or whatever the recommendation is as my daughter struggles to breath, is unconscious, and having a seizure. CALL 911!  


  1. wow! That is crazy!! I was thinking... we didn't talk to my parents or sisters today ( on Sunday) and who knew all that excitement and scariness was going on!!! Glad she's doing well

  2. Oh my goodness! I'm glad she's ok. Thank you for sharing that information. I had no idea about febrile seizures. I'm so glad that you guys have a blog now...you are all adorable!
    P.S. Wanted to watch the video, but it wasn't working :(

  3. Coming from a parent who has experienced seizures I know what you have been through! Two of our children have had them ~ one febrile and two that were idiopathic ~ meaning they don't know what caused them. (And they were both over 18 months old.) They are both healthy adults now 28 and 32 years old with no complications from their seizures. We were told that 10% of the population will have a seizure, and most are not serious, but if it is, the quicker you get help the better. So, I agree, even though a seizure might be 'normal', you never know if it isn't... so call 911 ASAP! Besides, there is nothing 'normal' about a seizure when it is your child who is having it! So glad everything was ok!!! We love you! The Olsens

    1. ooo that's so scary! Especially the idiopathic!! That would worry me not knowing what caused it. Well glad they are healthy now. We love you guys too! :)


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