CROSS COUNTY, Ark. — As Jim Jaggers and his team are still going strong on Day Four of Go Jim Go, one Arkansas family spoke with us about how Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital made a miracle happen for them.
On a family cattle farm in Cherry Valley, Arkansas, in Cross County, 4-year-old Caroline Witcher has a love for riding in an RTV and hanging out with her dad Kirk.
“She says, ‘Can I go with you. I want to feed the cows, or I want to ride the RTV, or I want to ride the tractor,'” Kirk said.
Kirk and Amanda Witcher have four children: Chris, Anna, Rosie and Caroline.
“She can be standoffish and takes a little while to warm up to people, but is very sweet and very bright,” Kirk said about Caroline.
Seven months ago, their sweet little girl and her sister Anna came down with what their parents thought was just a stomach virus.
But a few days later, they found Caroline in a terrifying state.
“She was moaning without any coherence at all,” Amanda said. “It took about 10 seconds. We looked at each other and said we got to go the hospital.”
The Witchers rushed her to a nearby hospital in Jonesboro.
“I was scared out of my mind at that point,” Kirk said. “I’m not going to lie. I turned the flashers on, headed to Jonesboro.”
Caroline was admitted, and tests were done as the Witchers waited for answers from doctors.
“He had looked at her and came back and unbeknownst to us, had called Le Bonheur almost immediately and dispatched an ambulance,” Amanda said.
Le Bonheur dispatched an ambulance team that prepped Caroline and communicated with doctors in Memphis as they waited for her and her parents to arrive at the emergency room.
“The doctors, immediately, as soon as we came in, said we’ve been talking with the ambulance team, and we believe this a syndrome called called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, and her kidneys are failing,” Amanda said.
The disease was kidney failure caused by a bacterial infection. Her parents didn’t know if Caroline would survive.
The Witchers turned to their faith and prayed Caroline would get better.
“I was trying, but I’m not going to lie, I was scared to death,” Kirk said.
Caroline was quickly admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit to try and get her stabilized. But the next five days would be difficult because she started having seizures.
“We didn’t know what her neurological state would be,” Amanda said. “She was having seizures.”
The Witchers said they felt helpless, but to help them cope, Kirk started a social media journal to share their feelings and Caroline’s story with family and friends as she battled for her life.
“It’s been an active evening, but not in a pleasant way,” Kirk said. “Caroline went most of the day without a seizure then had five within a span of two hours.”
She remained in the PICU for 18 days with her parents by her side, but she slowly started to improve.
Caroline was breathing on her own, and her kidneys began to function better.
Then something miraculous happened. The Witchers call it a sign from God by way of Caroline’s favorite song.
“She loves the Sound of Music,” Amanda said. “That’s like her favorite movie, and we turned on the songs. She started mouthing the words.”
“She started in her wheelchair singing when the dog bite, when the bee stings, and we both might have cried,” Kirk said.
They were tears of joy because the Witchers said their little girl was slowly beginning to heal, even though she would have to relearn how to walk, speak and eat on her own,
But she would do it because of Le Bonheur.
“It’s nice having us here when there’s no other facility around with people who’ve seen everything and who can take care of anything that can possibly happen,” Dr. Stephen Fulton said. “She’s back to bossing her sisters around and wagging her little sister around and back to being their little princess.”
A little princess by the name of Caroline Witcher is back with her family and enjoying the joys of just being a kid.
The Witchers said it’s all thanks to the grace of God and the incredible care she received at Le Bonheur.
“We are tremendously blessed,” Amanda said. “We’re thankful to God that he spared our daughter and gave her back to us fully and thankful that Le Bonheur is just close enough that we have them when we needed them.”
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