By Melissa Reich
Editor’s Note: Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare participated in Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) Miracle Treat Day on Thursday, August 14. The following is an open letter to the Coon Rapids Dairy Queen by Melissa Reich, Gillette Mom. Her family stopped by to greet staff, share their story and thank them for their donations to Gillette.
Dear DQ Crew,
My family and I would like to say a HUGE thank you for all you did during our Miracle Treat Day visit! My kids had so much fun and my husband and I were blown away by your hospitality. I would like to tell you a little more about my two kiddos that we celebrated with, Olivia and Elijah.
Olivia has Down Syndrome and a complication of that was a disorder called hip sublexation. Olivia spent over a week at Gillette this past January having reconstructive surgery on her left hip. While in the hospital recovering from her surgery, Olivia became quite ill which triggered a major asthma attack. We are so thankful that we were in the hospital when this happened. I am unsure what Olivia’s outcome would have been if she were at home.
Olivia spent her recovery in a full body cast from chest to ankle for the next seven weeks. She also endured months of physical therapy re-learning how to walk. Unfortunately, this was not her first time in the full body cast and most likely won't be her last. Eventually she will need her right hip repaired.
Elijah was diagnosed with Epilepsy in October of 2013. He has been through a ringer of tests to find the cause of his seizures and the right medication. Before his diagnosis at Gillette, he was having seizures almost every day. Due to the rarity of his seizure disorder, we had no clue he was even having seizures. Elijah became quite cognitively delayed due to the frequent seizure activity. I am happy to report that he is doing much better with a new medication and is now starting to talk in full sentences. His brain is getting the rest it needs in order to focus on his development.
Both Olivia and Elijah have had a long and hard road. Their journey isn't over but my family is truly blessed to have an amazing facility like Gillette. We are eternally grateful to them and to amazing supporters such as Dairy Queen.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for you’re over the top generosity. We are very grateful for the smiles and laughs you gave our kids!
The Reich Family; Kevin, Melissa, Cooper, Olivia, Elijah and Chance