To Our Medical City Children’s PICU Family

We’ve tried to keep track of all the people at Medical City that played a role in Claire’s recovery to date. There will be spots where our memory fails us: please forgive us if your name should be in that spot. We are forever indebted and grateful for what the administrative, nursing and doctor staffs did for Claire and our families for the past two weeks.

This letter marks the beginning of our thanks to the following (please forgive our poor spelling):

Doctors: Olsson, Sandel, Rhee, Fanning, Matson, Lanoue, Majeed

Transport Team: Ken, Misty, Jason

Nursing: Dalia, Sarah, Andrea, Kara, Christina, Eziaha, Andrew, Jimmy, Linda, Tai, Carla, Lauren, Carmen, Elaine, Marina, Asia, Susan, Janet, Candice (Nurse in Training)

RTs: Sheila, Tina

Chaplains: Brian and Jim

PT/OT: Erin, Kayla

Child Life Specialists: Margherita and Brittany

For legal reasons, and because some people bent the rules for us, we will be sharing some of the stories without the names (we don’t want to get anybody in trouble). Know that while we met under the worst imagined circumstances, we are so blessed and thankful to have met you.

The night nurse that was with Claire nearly every night became a face of hope for me. I was comforted whenever I was in the room with her: she talked gently to Claire and comforted her when she was upset. On the night before extubation while we were testing Claire’s ability to breath on her own, I didn’t sleep. Claire was initially having a hard time breathing and her breaths per minute average kept dropping to four, then two followed by a flat line. I could feel the stress flowing through my body. What comforted me was watching the night nurse show the same concern. She called the respiratory therapists and doctor and protected my daughter. I will always remember the nights that she was Claire’s angel.

The cult of personality in the PICU is amazing. We told our doctor last night that the care from a medical and emotional perspective was unparalleled. We know that the phrase “we couldn’t have done it without you” is hackneyed and tired, so we won’t say that. What we will say is that we are so glad that we did this with you: you equipped Claire for recovery during these first two weeks. You equipped us to begin caring for her and gave us the tools for the long road ahead.

You gave us the chance to begin putting the pieces together as a family. On a quiet Sunday, a rebel doctor and group of nurses let our daughters see their sister again as she took wagon laps around the unit. You allowed us to be together as a family again for 30 minutes. We got to watch our daughters encourage each other and give Claire strength. It’s so satisfying knowing that you shared that with us. Autumn and Heidi thank you for sharing popsicles with them too.

The last week was particularly encouraging following the first week of dim uncertainty. One nursing duo gave us strength each day as they shared in the small bits of progress. One nurse shared her excitement with us when she described the different types of cries and sounds Claire was starting to make. We were always looking for the slightest signs of progress: it made us cry when we heard that someone else was being as attentive as us. Her story made us cry more.

When we entered the hospital, we needed professionals to save Claire’s life and make sure additional injury didn’t occur. The PICU were very professional. As the last two weeks evolved, however, we also needed more and more emotional support. The PICU were more than professionals. They were advocates for Claire and friends for us. They shared in our despair and hoped to be astounded.

We got many visitors while we were in the PICU. Family and friends were joined by other PICU nurses and doctors who would come in on their off days or when stationed in another unit to see how Claire was doing. This meant a lot to us and you are always welcome to stop by wherever we are and check on Claire.

These stories just begin to describe the two weeks at the PICU. Other stories will come to mind and we will share them as they surface.

When this began we had a small Texas family. Now it’s bigger than the one in Colorado. We already miss our PICU family and will see you soon.

And Dr. Sandel, I owe you a bead.

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22 thoughts on “To Our Medical City Children’s PICU Family”

  1. So grateful for the incredible people who served you all, with the amazing gifts and talents God has given to them!! I’m so thankful for them, too! God bless every one of them!!
    Blessings!

    1. I second Regina’s thanks!THANK YOU all for taking care of our family with such great care and love. You are all truly a gift from GOD!

  2. Tyler, you had me in tears again. So great that the staff was all so wonderful. It was between the lines all along, but thanks for making it explicit. Cool that you share private jokes with them too! One reason they could be so “there” for you is that you are the kind of family whose faith and love for each other would just naturally make professionals want to go above and beyond the call of duty for you. God has been watching out for you, partly through them. Thanks for being who you all are.

    Dodie

  3. Unbeknown to me, I was indirectly part of that family in Colorado at Vanguard Church. MMy family and I have been praying for your sweet daughter as we continue to grieve the heartache and celebrate every progress that she is making. God has an amazing way of making this world smaller and more connected when we need spiritual family.

  4. Everytime you write, you make us feel your emotion. How amazing that is… The PICU staff sounds like inspiring people, the type that help make miracles happen and hearts hurt from kindness. We’re still praying out here in California. Love you guys!!

    Erin

  5. We are thankful for such compassionate people as you’ve described in PICU, who follow a calling and use their God-given gifts to heal, restore, support, mend, love, touch, cry, hope and believe with you and Claire! Especially because many of us cannot be there physically to give the hugs and wipe the tears and sound the cheers. In our home we have continually prayed for the caregivers as well as each of you, as we know that God can do mighty works thru them. And now we will add the new caregivers & staff at your new home-away-from-home.

    Frank & Ruth Ann in Chula Vista

    1. Thank you, thank you both for your feverant prayer for Claire, Tiffany, Tyler, Autumn and Heidi. Your prayers for Claire’s caregivers is very effective in Claire’s healing. Our God is a great God, full of love and compassion. God’s will is to be glorified so that all may know Him as the loving God He is. God’s glory has and will continue to shine through Claire’s healing and restoration. Come what may, we will love Claire just as she is, all the time.

  6. I praise God for the people who helped during this crisis and ask a special blessing on each person. You are like extended family and I have never even met you. Thank you for taking care of my sweet niece Claire, my baby sister~ Tiffany, brother-in-law~ Tyler, Autumn and Heidi. As you know they are all precious. We love them very, very much.
    There is beauty in the mist of pain. From the family in Colorado we THANK YOU ~ all the people listed~ for being the beauty through your caring, dedication, encouragement and for walking through this with our family.
    May God Richly Bless you!!
    Michelle

  7. I didn’t realize it, but I guess we went to the same church in CO. We now live in Dallas too! Friends w/ Lori Kennedy who left a comment a few days ago. She saw the link on my FB page. And I think you know other friends of ours here as well.

    Anyway, still praying and hoping on your behalf!!! Sweet Claire!!!

  8. Thank you for sharing all the pluses ansd minuses encountered so far – we ALL aoppreciate the updates.
    Good healing and love to all of you. Prayers enroute, too.
    Susan D.

  9. It is great to know that Claire and all of you had so many caring people around her while she was going through this. I know it wasn’t easy, but having people there who show how much they care about your family eases the burden.

    We will not stop praying for you no matter what, God will know that you are loved and have so many people looking out for you.

  10. Rejoicing in the progress and praying for added blessings daily. We are also praying blessing upon every single person who touched Claire’s life during this time and for those who will continue to care for her over the next few weeks.

    Tyler thanks for sharing your heart so openly and for allowing us to share in your journey.

  11. Just think – God created each one of those people to be at your side during this time of need. In the bible it talks about how HE takes care of the birds and the lillies. Claire is HIS daughter…and HE will continue to take good care of her. HE has created another group of wonderful people to help take care of your sweet Claire. May you take comfort in that truth!!

    I pray for rest and peace for the two of you!!!

  12. Tyler and Tiffany,

    I am so sorry to have heard the news about Claire. We will be praying for her and will send out a link to my prayer group here. I wish there were more I could do.

    Love,
    Molly (From Nashville)

  13. I’m grateful that you had such a wonderful team of people surrounding you. These folks have difficult and often thankless jobs. No doubt they are blessed by your words here. I am positive that the Lord will bless you again with a tremendous team for Claire (and for you!) in your new location.

  14. It’s so comforting hearing that people go further from their professional responsibilities, specially in the medical field. When you are at a hospital, you feel fragile and helpless. Having someone who really cares beside you in those difficult times makes a huge difference. I just hope that you continue having that support at Baylor. Love you guys.

  15. Wow, that was good news…a big step for the three of you!!! We thank the Lord for Claire’s progress and for His mercy in claring for you two. It was good to see the girls on the pictures. We pray for all five of you. We are at Camp and I was just home for a bit. I copied your comments for Lorenzo, he will be glad to read them and see the pictures. Keep up the good work. Love to all of you.
    Theo and Ruth

  16. Tyler,
    We so often become so absorbed in our own crisis that we miss the goodness all around us. Not so for you. In the midst of life’s toughest challenge, you stopped to acknowledge the professionals who helped you along the way. How very thoughtful of you.

    It is a privilege to walk with you, Tiffany and the girls, via your daily journal entries. Not only do your entries warm our and inspire our hearts, but they allow us to pray with specifics for your day to day needs.

    Claire’s story, as seen through your eyes, is so beautiful. You, Tyler, have a beautiful heart – no wonder Tiffany fell in love with you!

    Some day in the future, you should publish you journal as a book and call it “Our Claire Journal” so the whole world can be encouraged by your family’s courage, strength and faith. Maybe Claire can help with the final entry. What an inspiration and blessing that would be!
    God bless you all, and Happy Father’s Day to a wonderful dad.
    Ann Maloney

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