My name is Christine. I am a 28 year old veterinary technician in Helena Montana. I am a mother of two,
soon to be three, girls. My husband Josh is the Executive Chef of a premier steak house in Montana, the
number one in Helena. We work very hard to provide the best possible life for our little family, both of
us working long numerous hours, above and beyond a normal forty hour work week. This past 12
months has been the worst for our family.
May 3rd, 2017, we lost what would have been our third child. I had to undergo emergency surgery and
lost my right fallopian tube. July 23rd we lost our family dog to cancer. Our girls were and still are
heartbroken. July 31st we found out we were yet again expecting. After being told our chances were
slightly slimmer due to only having one remaining fallopian tube, we were not expecting to conceive so
quickly. I am having numerous pregnancy complications. I was officially put medical leave and per my
doctors orders I was not able to go to work; as my occupation is very physically demanding.
Almost immediately after being put on medical leave, my employer informed me they were not going to
continue to pay their contribution of my health insurance. So in addition to losing my income, we would
have to come up with additional money to pay my entire health insurance premium. I was now paying to
be an employee.
I am now 34 weeks pregnant. March 2nd I took our three year old daughter to her pediatrician as she
was complaining of stomach ache and we had previously noticed some abnormal bruising. I noticed the
look of concern on her doctors face when she entered the room. I looked at my very pale daughter and
back to the doctor and I knew it was something serious. The doctor told me her concern was that my
child could potentially have leukemia. I called her father immediately, who was working even more now
due to my mandatory medical leave, and told him to come right away. We were rushed to our local
hospital and she was immediately admitted.
We ran some blood work and discovered how bad things really were. Her platelets were not existent.
Her white blood cell count was barely traceable. Her hematocrit was also dangerously low. All in all she
had very thin blood and was not making more fast enough to keep her functioning properly. Her
tentative diagnosis remained leukemia.
The world stopped, my heart dropped, and my husband and I were even more scared then before and
began questioning everything. How could this happen? Hadn’t we been through enough? Why us? Then
reality set in. What was next? What did we have to do to save our child? The answer was not simple. It
started with needing and IV catheter to receive fluids and antibiotics and an emergency blood
transfusion. Then to a life flight to Seattle Children's hospital, where she could receive the best care.
Many member of the hospital staff attempted to place an IV catheter including: pediatric nurses, an
anesthesiologist, an Emergency room doctor, and a member of the life flight crew. Our daughter was
poked 22 times before they settled on an IO catheter straight into her femur bone. After the IO proved
successful and my baby was exhausted, we were then transported via life flight from Helena to Seattle.
She received an emergency blood transfusion during her flight. We arrived In Seattle late on March 2nd
We were admitted through the ER as we waited for a plan of action. The staff wanted to place an IV
catheter, but I was skeptical given the days earlier events and failures. They assured me they would not
poke her unless they were certain it would work. I consented and they were able to place a catheter first
try. They were also able to draw more blood to run further tests.