Addison Malyn Tams was born March 29, 2008 at 10:54 AM. She weighed 5 pounds 10 ounces and was 17 3/4 inches long. The nurses could tell she had a temper right away, but what we didn't know at the time was how much she was going to need it. Although she was small, her coloring was good and her vitals looked great. We just knew we had a beautiful, healthy baby girl.
When she was three days old, we took Addison in for her newborn checkup with her pediatrician. Under the lights in his office, she glowed a bright yellow glow. Off we went to the lab for blood tests to check for jaundice. Her counts were high so we were admitted back into the hospital where Addison spent and evening "laying-out" under the lights. By morning, her counts had dropped substantially. The Dr. and nurses said they had rarely seen a baby bounce back so quickly. She again proved to us what a fighter she was! Her doctor sent us home and asked to see her back in his office the following Monday.
We had a wonderful weekend and Addison's color seemed to be improving every day. When we took her in on Monday, she hadn't gained any weight and so her pediatrician wanted us to feed her more often and come back on Wednesday.
That night she wouldn't eat a thing. She wouldn't suck and the formula would just puddle in her mouth. We tried everything and on Tuesday night took her into the ER. She wasn't eating, but we never expected the news we received. On Wednesday evening, Addison was air-vacced to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix with what would turn out to be a pretty serious heart defect. She would definitely need to be a fighter now!
During her nearly 12 years of life, Addie endured 5 open-heart surgeries. Her fighting instincts always shined through. She lived a full, adventurous life in spite of her medical issues. She was a smiling, happy little girl who touched everyone she met with her shining spirit.
On Saturday, February 8th 2020 Addie began vomiting. She did not have a fever or any labored breathing, all of her stats looked good. She continued to vomit throughout the night, but by Sunday evening the vomiting had stopped. She insisted on going to school Monday morning, but was still too weak, so only made it less than an hour. By Wednesday, she was much better, but staying up all night watching TV and playing. She stayed home for the week to rest. She stats continued to look good and she was eating and drinking well. We were in constant contact with her medical team in Phoenix and there was really no cause for concern. On Friday evening, she began to decline and was needing some oxygen to keep her saturations at a good level. With oxygen, she was maintaining and stable. Saturday morning, I called to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and they told me to bring her up if she was staying stable. We loaded up and got in the car to head to Phoenix thinking she just needed fluids. Addie remained stable with a heart rate of 140 and oxygen saturations at 80 on oxygen. We were making good progress and then suddenly, at mile marker 78, her pulse ox machine went blank and she was non responsive. We waited for emergency response to come, giving her CPR the entire time, but she had already passed. They worked on her by the side of the road for what felt like hours. They even closed down the freeway to land a helicopter. Despite everyone’s efforts, she was gone. This story is part of what makes Addie Packs so important to us. At this point, Phoenix was our best option for care. Our goal is to bridge the gap between rural cities and big city hospitals, so that every child can receive the best medical care, from their medical team. If, through Addie Packs, we can help to save one child from the trauma we experienced, then we can make the world a better place.