Written by Dave on May 28, 2010
Hey, thanks for reading my blog. I don’t know why you’re here, but I do appreciate the fact that for some reason I’ve connected with you enough for you to actually be reading this today. Or maybe you just stumbled here by accident. Either way, thank you for that. Without my readers, well, I’d just be talking to myself, and if you do that too much people begin to wonder about you.
Since you’re here, I’m going to use this opportunity to ask you for a huge favor. There is a little girl in Londonderry, NH named Bella Tucker, and her family really needs our help.
Now honestly, I don’t know her and I’m pretty sure she’s never heard of me. Doesn’t matter. I’ve read her story, and I really think you should take about two minutes out of your day to read it as well. It will probably give you a greater appreciation for how good you’ve really got it.
Who Is Bella Tucker?
Bella is eight years old, a third grader at South School, and member of the Phantom Gymnastics team. She lives with her mom, step-dad, younger sister, and three older brothers. Just a happy little girl who loves nothing better than doing third-grade-girl-kind-of-stuff.
It Started with an Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Sunday 2010 was a day Bella was looking forward to because of the Easter Egg hunt with her siblings and cousins. But, later in the day she began to feel ill, and went to bed early with what her family thought was the flu.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the flu.
Bella woke up with a fever of 103 degrees, and her feet were cold. According to her stepfather they felt “dead cold, not alive cold”. He immediately brought her to the emergency room at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, NH.
She wasn’t there long when doctors told him she needed to be transferred to Children’s Hospital in Boston.
Derry is only about a 40 minute drive from Boston, less if you go by ambulance with the lights flashing and sirens blaring. Even so, doctors told her parents that wasn’t fast enough and put her on a helicopter.
When she got to Boston, her fever had hit 105.8. I can’t even imagine that. I’ve had salmonella that brought on a fever of 103, and I’ve never felt worse. Of course, now I feel like a big baby.
After a couple of days, doctors discovered that Bella had Streptococcus Pneumonia Sepsis with DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). Like me, you’ve probably got no idea what the hell that is. We should be thankful that we have never had a reason to know. Bella’s family wishes they didn’t.
Survival rate for Streptococcus Pneumonia Sepsis with DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation) is about 10% and the doctors didn’t give much hope for Bella.
Somehow though, after five days in a coma, this little 8 year-old gymnast beat the odds and survived. Unfortunately, the infection wasn’t through with her. Remember those cold feet? The infection had stopped the flow of oxygen to her extremities and caused such severe tissue damage in her limbs, that she would need to undergo a quadruple amputation.
Let that sink in for a minute.
As a dad with 7 & 4 year-old daughters, I cannot imagine having the strength to explain that to one of them.
Doctors amputated her right arm up to her elbow, her left arm up to her mid-bicep, and both legs. This little gymnast can no longer hold her mom’s hand.
Her New Life
It’s going to be months before little Bella can go home. She’ll need more surgery and months of rehab. During this time her mother will need to be with her 24/7, while her stepfather cares for the other four kids. This means mom won’t be able to work, and the kids will need daycare so their stepfather can continue to work to pay the bills. Unfortunately for them, most of their close family lives in California.
Insurance has covered most of the medical costs so far, but they are going to need to make extensive alterations to their house to accommodate for Bella when she is finally able to return home. Losing her mother’s salary will make that extremely difficult, and they’ve already used up a significant portion of their savings.
If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but today I’m going to ask you to help Bella out. And that means donating some money if you have the means.
Again, I don’t know them. They don’t know me. But I guess I look at that picture of Bella and see my own daughters. If something like this ever happened to one of them, I’d be thankful for anything anyone did to help, and that includes strangers with a blog asking other strangers for money.
So, if you can help, thanks. I don’t care how much you give, and I’m sure Bella’s family will appreciate anything you can do.
Just go to BellaTucker.org. You can either mail a check or donate directly using Paypal.
Hey, if enough people just donate ten bucks each, it could make a big difference to a little 8 year-old girl whose life has been turned upside down.
After you do that, please go hug your kids and realize how good things are.