EJ, or as he was affectionately known, Mr. Stinky, was a smart, happy and energetic baby. We had just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas and he had been suffering from a cold. I took him to the pediatrician who said that he was fine, just give him fluids. That Saturday, January 17, 2009 he woke up, still cheerful, but he could not move his left side. We took him to the ER where they did a CAT scan and sent us to Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk. They told us he had a stroke and within an hour that he had leukemia.
They told us a few days later that it was AML, subtype M4. They pushed him into the PICU and he was waving his arms and smiling. They sedated him and ventilated him to put a line in. He started chemotherapy immediately and they kept him sedated for comfort purposes for the first week. We didnt know it but he continued to have strokes on the right side of his brain despite blood thinners and everything they were doing to control the strokes. Within another week, he had an arterial bleed on the left side of his brain which they explained left his brain completely damaged. And after the first round of chemo, his cancer was worse than before.
There was nothing more they could do for him. We asked to bring him home and on February 13, 2009 we removed his life support and he died with his mommy and daddy holding him.