Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jete

PHOTO DONATION: Rolfs Vendiņš


It is hard to decide which way is the best and who should be helped; a family that has nothing to serve on the table just because parents lounge around and do nothing except for immersing themselves in a self-pity telling about unfair hardships of life or help a family that basically has everything but the most valuable and it is child’s health. Should we offer our help to a family that is desperately looking for a chance to help the child on its own or insist on a family accepting our help? Our Charity organization by all means will try not to leave anyone alone.
This is a story about nice and pleasant family raising two years old Jete and her brother Emils. The family is not in the money to perform examinations abroad at the very moment. The story revealed by Jete’s mum was so evocative and emotionally touching that we were willing to publish it in full.
Jete is our second child so wanted and loved. Swiftly she arrived:). On 11 July, 2008 even after the doctor’s visit nothing had indicated that the delivery was approaching. I remember myself sighing as it was planned to attend a wedding on 12 July but because of my round belly I couldn’t put on any dress. It seemed that my sweetheart heard me :) and it happened; we arrived to the hospital and in just two hours a little wonder was lying on my stomach.
There was no sign of any illness till she was a year and a half of age. Considering though she was behaving in an unusual way like walking a bit but afterwards lying on the floor as if she felt some pain. Later she was able to express that she had a tummy ache, which wasn’t taken seriously by our doctors as such a little child wouldn’t explain where the pain exactly was. Meanwhile, Jete got worse and worse every day; she wasn’t sitting straight, played her games in a half-lying position.
Despite that our little daughter didn’t whine, accepted everything as if it should be so and just lived on, making it difficult to detect whether or not it hurt or she just tried out some new positions for playing. When she started to explain that she had a stomach ache, I realised that was a real pain and not an imaginary feeling just to attract our attention.
Constipations began. We went to the University Children’s Hospital where she was given complicated and long lasting enemas. Nothing was found, an ultrasound scan did not show anything, but the child became weaker and weaker. We were blamed for not feeding the child properly and were allowed to go home.
There was a feeling that after multiple enemas and medication given for treatment bowels Jete was doing better till one evening I noticed that one side of my little daughter’s bottom is a bit bigger. We had to go to the hospital for further observation and ultrasound scan detected an alien sized 7X5 cm. Doctors explained, that urgent surgery is needed as a lump has blocked the lower bowel and could affect the ends of the nerve on the coccyx. Magnetic resonance imaging detected that the lump is a tumour and obviously a malignant one.
Only then I realized why Jete hasn’t sat straight, couldn’t stay seated in the car when we were driving to Liepaja to visit her grandparents, has never ridden a bike or swung on the toy horse’s back. She really had had much pain. The diagnosis was malignant teratoma (a tumour of yolk sac) in a sacrococcygeal region type IV with metastasis in the lymph nodes of pelvis which was also proved by histological study later.
The news was a real stroke for our family. It was not enough to know that the crisis made our country kneel financially, beside the message that we could have lost our child as well. The August of 2010 turned our world upside down as well as values, expectations and dreams making us look at them differently. On 16 August Jete underwent a surgery. Luckily, the tumour was enveloped in its own pleura and hadn’t affected other organs though it wasn’t possible to extract it completely as it had been attached to the coccyx firmly.
After the surgery Jete spent three days in an intensive care unit. Those nights we couldn’t stay by our child’s side I was talking to my husband just to grasp that everything had happened to us was real. A big thanks to the doctors that prepared us to be ready face the worst case, didn’t suppress anything but told us what might happen. During that night I was making at least one phone call an hour to ask how she was. We were sure that everyone was sick and tired of our questioning, nevertheless, we were provided with the latest parameters in a calm manner every time. On the third day I entered the ward and saw - Jete watching large sized plasma TV placed closely to her alone with some cartoons on. That was a good sign:).
As during the surgery the lump blew up we started chemotherapy right afterwards not to allow affected cells time to spread elsewhere. Jete hadn’t been able to trust doctors for a long time and screamed when anyone dressed in white lab coat was approaching. To protect her little heart, I learned how to care wounds after the surgery, clean and disinfect them. Her bottom was healing slowly and I remember it very well that after the first chemotherapy course we begged to spend a weekend at home but were staying there for some 5 minutes only. When Jete bent trying to reach a toy, she sat down and all stitches broke open thus our attempt to meet ended in nothing.
So the hospital has become the second home as we are there as if it is our home.
Jete says, “My big and small home (small home here means the ward she is in)”.
Any time she is given chemotherapy it is accompanied by severe vomiting so she has lost her tiny hair after the first course and later her beautiful lashes too. One course lasts 7 full days. It means that seven 24-hour cycles she is attached to an infusion system and dropped chemicals as well as some liquid that washes chemicals away. In 5 days there are large chemotherapy waste collection bags left. Besides after each course Jete has blood transfusion for providing stimulation of amount of thrombocytes, erythrocytes, leucocytes in her blood. Chemotherapy causes side effects.
So far Jete has had 6 therapy courses. After the fourth one magnetic resonance imaging detected nothing. The tumour has absorbed and the progress of metastasis has halted. Now after the sixth course we are still waiting for the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The doctors suggest that we should continue chemotherapy though I am so scared. I am afraid whether or not her weakened body will be able to overcome that.
Following our own initiative we discovered that it is possible to perform other examinations too, but not in Latvia. There is also a hope to ease Jete’s treatment if there was a chance to have a deeper examination to find out about some malignant cell left hiding and waiting for its victory parade.
One of the options is scan using positron emission tomography (PET). Such scanning device is available in neighbouring Estonia, Tallinn. The examination costs 1 300 EUR. We are also in touch with the doctors in Germany waiting for their reply, in case we could undertake more examinations. However, we do not have that much money to perform those scans with no help from outside.
God heard our prayers and showed His mercy upon us. No one could ever explain and answer dozen of questions why that happened to us. What might cause such illness if during my pregnancy there were no complications? But I have realized that God posed an enormous challenge which must be responded to win. I will not let the tumour come back to defeat us. We must struggle but we will complete all possible examinations. Even if no doctor in the whole world can make a promise that the tumour will never ever return, we as her parents will have done everything for not blaming ourselves ever, that it is too late or we have missed or neglected something.
This was our story about Jete. We strongly believe that the child and his/her health is the first priority and fully understand parents, who are ready to do anything to help their child.
Let’s help
Jete needs 1500 EUR or app. 1065 LVL to perform examination which could prove that malignant tumour has cured and chemotherapy course should not be continued.

THANK YOU TO JETE'S ANGELS:
our authors of photo donations
Anonymous - LVL 1051,20 (17.03.11.)
Dace Jonāne - LVL 10,- (17.03.11.)
Iveta Mazīte - LVL 5,- (17.03.11.)
Ivita Krastiņa - LVL 55,- (17.03.11.)
MG BALTIC SIA - LVL 500,- (17.03.11.)
Ilona Abeļa - LVL 20,- (18.03.11.)
Anonymous - LVL 300,- (21.03.11.)
Laura Keraite - LVL 25,- (21.03.11.)
Gundars - LVL 150,- (09.05.11.)
ZS SĒJAS - LVL 200,- (13.05.11.)
Līga Hauka - LVL 100,- (07.07.11.)

Many thanks to all the contributors for so great responsiveness! Thanks to you we have managed to gather the full needed amount of money for the diagnostics within 2 days! Now Jete can go to the most suitable medical institution where the needed diagnostics will be done for her. The other money will be very necessary for the trip- as her mum says- every lats wil be very useful. Once again- thank you very much!

May 19th, 2011
1,430.60 LVL were transfered to the Universitätsklinikum Münster, Jete will have the medical tests there

June, 2011
158 LVL were paid for the train ticket (Hamburg-Munster-Hamburg)

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