Daniel Yerex's Miracle

Saturday, August 13th 2005, Day 0
8:40pm         Calgary, Alberta: Daniel was playing outside on the tricycle with his grandfather, but is left alone briefly on the tricyle. Grandpa later saw the tricycle parked at the house entrance and assumed Daniel to be inside with Grandma.
9:02pm          Grandma comes outside and asks where Daniel is; Grandpa answers "I thought he was with you." He sees the open gate to the pond and rushes to the pond.
9:03pm         Grandpa finds Daniel white-faced and floating in a fish pond, face down, with the gate to the pond lying open. Daniel apparently threw balls, bark, water hose handle in the pond. He also rolled in a concrete turtle before possibly falling or being pulled in when he rolled the heavy turtle into the pond. Daniel's uncle (Darin Yerex), was also there and immediately calls 911 and with instruction from dispatch, performs CPR on Daniel (Darin doing compressions, grandpa doing breathing).
9:13pmEmergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive and take over CPR. Daniel is officially estimated by the paramedics to have been drowned for 10-15 minutes before CPR began. They determine that he has no electrical heart activity whatsoever but continue CPR and give two doses of epinephrine to help start heart, however they have no success and continue CPR.
9:25pmThe STARS Air Ambulance (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service) helicopter lands on road just outside driveway. They had just finished another call and were running hot and did not have to do the pre-flight checks before flying out. Constable calls us in town while visiting friends and informs them that Daniel is being flown to Alberta Children's Hospital.
9:30pmHelicopter leaves with Daniel with four crew members, two paramedics and two pilots. Daniel given a third Epinephrine dose which resulted in some electrical heart activity.
9:31pmWe arrive at hospital, driven there by my friend Jay Boldt, who stayed with us in the hospital that night.
9:35pmHelicopter arrives at Alberta Children’s Hospital, where upon a fourth dose of Epinephrine, they begin to get a heartbeat of 30 beats/min, 41-46 minutes after Daniel first stopped breathing.
~10:00pmDaniel's blood pressure is 67/45 and temperature is 30.3C/86.5F. We are allowed to see Daniel in the emergency room. Almost a dozen staff were attending to him.
10:30pmSome spontaneous breathing is noted at a rate of 4 breaths/min.
~11:00pmDaniel transferred to ICU. I started to read the miracles of Jesus and read about Jairus in Luke 8. Alexandra and I rooted ourselves in Jesus' words, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe, and [your child] will be made well."
Sunday, August 14th, Day 1 Many members of family, friends, and pastors came to visit this day and over the next few weeks. Family members, friends, and Bethany Chapel provided food for us for many days. Put on drugs Dopamine (for blood pressure), Epinephrine (for his heart), Clindamycin/Fefotaxime (antibotics), and Medazalam (sedation). Was sleeping/unconscious all day. Doctors had difficulty early in the day keeping Daniel's oxygen content above 80%. Switched to different respirator for a period of time and switched back. After switching back, oxygen saturation stabilized around 78%. Doctors also had difficulty with low blood pressure. Kept giving medication to compensate. Daniel's temperature kept cold (30C/86F) on cold pad to help reduce brain swelling. CAT scan was performed and we were encouraged since the results were normal.
Monday, August 15th, Day 2 In the morning, Daniel woke up a little, for a brief period, and slowly reached for a toy blue bike from doctors hand. Otherwise, no recognition, only some minor eye blinking. In afternoon, fell unconscious once again. EEG conducted which showed some seizure activity. Daniel's oxygen saturation in his blood reaches 100%. Repiratory technicians (RTs) begin to tune down the ventilator settings to lower Daniel's dependency on it. News of Daniel's situation begins to spread to different churches across the U.S. and Canada. Thousands begin to pray for his recovery. ICU doctor tells us that he feels confident that Daniel is 'out of the woods' with regards to his heart stopping again. Daniel still very cold to the touch because of the cold pad on which he was lying. We asked Pastor Collin Hauch from Camrose to stay with us and pray & encourage us in the hospital for a few days.
Tuesday, August 16th, Day 3 Doctors weaned Daniel off blood pressure and heart medications. Doctors perform second CAT scan which showed brain swelling and serious brain damage. They asked us if they could perform an MRI as well. We are made aware that the results of an MRI will not have any impact on treatment; at first we refused, and later agreed to have one performed. We also told them we did not want to hear the results if they were negative - since we were believing for a miracle, we felt that more negative reports would crush our faith and hope. Ventilator settings are tuned down further. Daniel increasingly shows signs of initiating breaths on his own. Rhonda Sparks from our church in Plano reminded us of the Old Testament story of the 12 spies; 10 gave a bad report, 2 believed that God conquers all. Sheri Dean faxes us healing scriptures to read over Daniel. Over the next several days hours were spent declaring the healing scriptures over Daniel and his condition. Doctors decide to start warming up Daniel by slowly increasing cold pad to normal body temperature.
Wednesday, August 17th, Day 4 EEG conducted again, still with evidence of seizure discharge. MRI performed. Doctors do not contact us with the results. Daniel began to visibly exhibit minor brain seizures, 20-30 seconds in duration. Doctors start Daniel on anti-seizure medication Dilantin. Ventilator settings are tuned down to minimal settings. We asked Alexandra's good friend and co-pastor of Outreach Church of God in Brandon, Florida, Sheri DeJesus, to come from Florida and stand in faith and pray with us and the family. Daniel sedation was stopped. Body temperature now normal.
Thursday, August 18th, Day 5 Pastor Collin convinces us to hear the MRI results. The report confirmed the serious brain injury shown by the second CAT scan. The neurologists came to a diagnosis based on the CAT scans, the MRI, the length of time in the water, the temperature of the water and Daniel when he was found, and the acidity and the oxygenation of his blood. It was that Daniel had extensive brain damage in every area and there was "nothing of Daniel left". They were unsure about any damage to the brain stem which controls involuntary actions. They suspected that Daniel's inability to keep his airway clear (which is an involuntary action) suggested brain stem damage as well. They told us that since the ventilator settings were minimal they were planning to attempt to disconnect Daniel from it to see how he functions without it. They asked us if we wanted to re-connect him in the event that he couldn't breathe on his own; we said yes. Doctors remove ventilator at 2pm. With minimal signs of awareness, he fights for oxygen and breathes rapidly, 85 breaths/min, heart rate at 170 beats/min. When nurse attempted to suction fluids forming in the windpipe, he appeared to focus on her and looked terrified. Daniel breathes like this for 4 hours and begins to tire. Doctors reconnect ventilator with high settings and sedate him heavily. Everyone is very discouraged and saddened.
Friday, August 19th, Day 6 Sheri DeJesus arrives at 12:30am. Played CD of healing scriptures at Daniel's beside and put anointed prayer cloths under his head. Then the three of us prayed for healing for Daniel. His heart rate is 170 beats/min most of the day and is mostly unconscious - except for seemingly random eyes opening and closing. Another EEG was conducted showing seizure activity, however some improvement was noted.
Saturday, August 20th, Day 7 Daniel's IV fluids are reduced and is started being fed Pediasure via a feeding tube, inserted into his intestine, through his left nostril. He is sleeping/unconscious all day. Neurologists and ICU doctor suggested that we stop aggressive treatment and put Daniel in palliative care. We refused. We told them we were believing God for a miracle. During evening he starts to show signs of a stronger cough. Sedation is decreased.
Sunday, August 21st, Day 8 IV fluids are discontinued. Daniel's sedation was stopped and his anti-seizure medication was switched to Trileptal. Daniel's cough became more frequent and stronger as the day progressed. During the early evening, Alexandra was lying her head beside Daniel's and he opened his eyes, focussed on mommy, and reached out and stroked her face for a minute. During the night he showed signs of excessive, involuntary movement in his arms and legs.
Monday, August 22nd, Day 9 At 11:15am, doctors disconnect ventilator and Daniel breathed normally (30-35 beats/min) and he seemed very peaceful. A couple hours later, Daddy played a little tickling game with Daniel, and at the end of the game Daniel smiled with a sparkle in his eye and reacted with his body. I did the tickling game again several times and he smiled for the nurse, my friend Jay who was visiting, Sheri, and the resident ICU doctor. We were elated that day since I was convinced that he could see, hear, and remember me and the game. Our family came together for a time of praise. As the day progressed, he had continued, involuntary excessive movement, flailing around in the bed. He later develops a serious heat rash on his back. That night, he pulled out his stomach draining tube and the nurse restrained his arms with straps. Doctors decide to not reinsert the tube. Anti-seizure drug Dilantin was switched to Trileptal, which, we we were told, is more easily taken orally. All the family got together and praised and thanked God for the miracle he was working in Daniel.
Tuesday, August 23rd, Day 10 Sheri returns to Tampa in early morning. Central venous line (IV connection) is removed. Daniel's constant writhing in the bed creates friction heat sores on his back. Doctors move Daniel out of ICU since he no longer needs the respirator. Physio/Occupational therapy stop by and play with him on a mat on the floor. He can only hold his arms up; the muscles in head and body have atrophed and he cannot control them. By the evening he starts to stick his tongue out at people as a greeting.
Wednesday, August 24th, Day 11 We alternated tying Daniel's wrists down and attaching wooden braces to his arms so he couldn't bend them -- all to keep him from accidentally pulling out his feeding tube. At times, it appeared he was doing it intentionally but we were unsure. Pediasure feeds were given more at one time to see if his stomach can tolerate higher amounts. Daniel starts vomiting occasionally; no one is sure if it's the feeds or a side effect of the Trileptal.
Thursday, August 25th, Day 12 Resident surgeon discusses with us the possibility of inserting a feeding tube surgically directly through the belly. We flatly refuse to consider the option until Daniel has had more time to re-learn/remember how to eat. We continued to believe God for a complete miracle. We are later coached by the pediatrician to seriously reconsider. Physio/Occupational Therapy provide kid-kart so Daniel doesn't have to spend all his time in bed. His neck begins to strengthen and he starts showing signs of holding up his head. Video x-ray taken of his stomach to see if the NG tube can be moved to depositing food into his stomach rather than his intestine. He showed no reflux (stomach fluids re-entering the esophagus).
Friday, August 26th, Day 13 We used the kid-kart, pushing Daniel around the hospital as much as possible when he wasn't sleeping. Speech therapists carefully test Daniel's ability to swallow. They monitor him carefully as they are concerned that he might not be able to prevent himself from aspirating. They test with yogurt and water and he does well enough that we are authorized to give him 25ml of yogurt or puree'd fruit 3 times a day. He is extremely picky and would barely eat even that, often spitting it out. Holds up his head well now.
Saturday, August 27th, Day 14 First video taken of Daniel in the morning, with him throwing the ball in the playroom. When sitting on the grass, he begins to sit unaided for short periods of time. By the afternoon we stopped using the kid-kart and starting using his stroller when walking around the hospital. We tried to help Daniel stand and put pressure on his legs. Around supper Daniel rides the pink trike in the courtyard for the first time! Today was a great day!
Sunday, August 28th, Day 15 Lots of trike riding.
Monday, August 29th, Day 16 More trike riding. Starts becoming more interested in books again. Daniel's Oma (Emily Ness) spends much time playing with Daniel in the playroom and on the trike.
Tuesday, August 30th, Day 17 Daniel has a videofluoroscopy (a video x-tray) while tested eating barium-dipped cold fries and barium-spiked applesauce. He passes the test well and is permitted to eat thicker foods, and as much as he can tolerate. Initially Daniel is extremely picky and can only tolerate small amounts of food. He seemed uninterested in eating, we believed because he was on a 1440 ml daily dose of pedia-sure.
Wednesday, August 31th, Day 18 Daniel is playing while standing much more now. Can stand for long periods of time.
Friday, September 2th, Day 20 Given a three hour pass to go home for supper. Daniel gets to see some familiar surroundings. All the family comes out to my parent's house and we celebrate!
Sat-Mon, Sept 3-5th, Day 21-23 Long weekend begins. Hospital is very short-staffed and we are provided with full-day passes all weekend. My sister Holly Thiessen spends many hours helping Daniel learn how to walk. By Day 23, he could walk 30 steps unaided. We try to get Daniel to eat lots, but his nightly feeds of Pedia sure keep him from being hungry.
Tuesday, September 6th, Day 24 Convinced the new pediatrician to stop the Pedia-sure feeds to give Daniel a chance to get hungry and eat on his own. We are now given permission to be away from the hospital overnight.
Thursday, September 8th, Day 26 Daniel is walking everywhere now, although he remains off-balance. Daniel manages to eat enough on his own (eating mostly sweet items) to keep his weight steady and the NG tube is finally removed.
Friday, September 9th, Day 27 Daniel is discharged. Press conference held.
Fri-Thu, September 10th-15th Drove to New Sarepta, AB. Spent time with Oma, Nicole, Nathan & Alexandra's family.
Saturday, September 17th Robin Yerex organized a party at my parent's for the family and all the people that brought food to us in the hospital.
Monday, September 19th Returned to Plano, TX.
September 26th Neurologist gave permission to reduce the dosage of Daniel's anti-seizure medication from 5 ml/day to 3.5 ml/day.
September 28th He is doing very well and is extremely active. His balance is improving, although he still trips on his feet now and again. Also, he is now counting to ten!
September 29th Balance has improved noticably.
October 6th EEG conducted in early morning. Daniel was intentionally sleep-deprived and fell asleep/woke up during test as they were hoping. The results of the test were excellent - meaning no seizure activity was detected! The anti-seizure medication has been reduced to 2 ml/day till next thursday, and 1 ml/day for the following week, then he's off the medication entirely. He's also running now and has successfully walked on his tippie-toes. :)
October 19th Daniel is completely off his medication now, with no seizure activity detected. The speech and occupational therapists he's been seeing the past few weeks are content to see him much less frequently. Physiotherapy still wants to work on his ability to walk over tall obstacles & jump off the ground. He is still very active despite his balance still not being 100%.
Novemeber 30th The little guy is doing very well. He's made great gains in the last few weeks with his balance and coordination. He's doing very, very well. He loves to read his books and is really starting to sing-along with songs, even singing by himself.