William Simpson glad to be home
William Simpson, nine year old son of Kyle and Mindy Simpson of Manila, is glad to be home with his family after undergoing open heart surgery at Lebonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis.
William's illness touched many lives and let everyone around him know just how fast one can go from a healthy child to one fighting for his life.
William went fishing on Thursday, played all day on Friday and that evening of May 22 started running a fever. He had fever and was sluggish all weekend and on Monday morning Mindy took him to the doctor.
"They thought he had a common bacterial infection and started him on a five day antibiotic treatment," his mother said.
After four days, William did not improve and actually got worse. He started having pain in his "pinky" toe which went from red to purple.
Mindy took him back to the doctor on Thursday, May 28, and they were advised to go to Lebonheur Children's Hospital.
William is the youngest of six children and his mother knew he was not having a common fever. Whatever he had, the antibiotics were not helping it.
They arrived at the hospital on Thursday night and doctors started treating him for dehydration and an abnormal heart rhythm.
"Doctors started checking him for endocarditis, meningitis or tick fever," Mindy said.
Bacteria was found in his blood and doctors knew because of the discoloration of his toe he had a blood clot. Mindy said she had never heard of endocarditis which William was finally diagnosed with.
He was given strong antibiotics through a PICC line put in his arm.
"We were told the type of bacteria he had was aggressive and quick," Mindy said. "This type of bacteria lives in the nose and mouth of everyone. The doctors said most of the time when it gets into the blood stream our bodies will fight it off. Rarely does it happen with a healthy child.
"The cardiology team discovered damage to the aortic root and said they would have to replace it with open heart surgery. His surgery was moved up from the afternoon to the morning. We were later told he would not have lasted over two hours without the surgery. Also, the bacteria had damaged the part of his heart that controls the electrical system and a permanent pace maker had to be put in place."
William and his family give his doctors and nurses at Lebonheur an A+. He praised his doctors for taking good care of him.
One of the doctors who took care of him in intensive care Unit said he would see him after the surgery and told him to "grow up and be a good man."
William's answer was, "I'll try."
William said he was never afraid. His family and friends were always there.
"We had so much support from our family, friends, church family and even people we did not know," Mindy said. "People from all over were praying for William."
He received an Ipad from an anonymous giver to help him pass the time while in the hospital and also received letters and cards.
William said he especially enjoyed the visits from the volunteers bringing in Lucy and Sally, two dogs he got to pet. He also liked the interaction game shows he participated in with other patients via television screen. He said he also liked the jokes on the Popsicles. One of his favorites was, "Why are doctors so calm? Answer: Because of all of their patients."
William has 10 more days of antibiotics and he is looking forward to getting the PICC line removed so he can go swimming.
The first words out of William's mouth when they removed the tubes were, "Can I have a dog?" His parents naturally said yes so that is another event he is looking forward to. He said he wants either a Husky or German Shepard puppy.
It was a sweet homecoming for William on July 2 after a 28 day stay in the hospital.
"Through the ordeal, we had peace knowing William would be okay and he would come home with his earthly father or go home with his heavenly father," Mindy said. "We are so thankful the Lord left him with us."
A welcome home party for William is in the making hosted by his friends at New Harmony Baptist Church. He has requested serving sno cones for the event. Sno cones, as well as love, will be shared at the celebration.