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Communication, support set building blocks for Lillie Stone’s recovery

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:08 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:24 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A dad fell asleep laying by his daughter only to be awoken by her seizing. Although he’s a trained healthcare worker, he was lost for answers.

Their home was infected with COVID-19, but they never expected Lillie to develop a viral infection in her brain.

He says although it felt like waking up into a nightmare, it was the first of many back-to-back miracles.

They called 911 and paramedics arrived in full PPE because Joey and Stephanie, Lillie’s dad and mom, were COVID positive.

From there, Lillie was taken to the hospital for a variety of tests: CT scans, MRIs, X-rays and a lumbar puncture.

“Had she been further out from here, in an area without many resources, she may have continued to worsen and decline to a state that she may not have survived this,” acute care nurse practitioner Clayton Womback said.

Lillie was diagnosed with encephalitis, a potentially deadly viral infection that caused inflammation to the brain.

“That puts them in this very sleepy state, that just the brain no longer functions in the normal, awake environment, like you and I, and it’s very scary for her parents. And again, with her parents’ background, it’s very concerning not having those answers right away,” Womback said.

Because of their COVID status and hospital protocol, only one person could stay with Lillie; that was Stephanie, so Joey had to leave.

“When you’re used to always being there for everything, and all of a sudden, in one of the most critical times of her life, you’re not able to be there for pandemic purposes,” Joey said.

But the doctors kept communication with Joey for their entire seven-day stay.

“Clayton was kind of my eyes and ears. And so it made a huge difference, to be able to talk to him, and he’ll kind of give me a little bit of feedback of what’s going on because of not being able to be there myself,” Joey said.

And Lillie did recover.

“Putting these people in our path to help her heal — help us heal — has been a miracle,” Stephanie said.

To donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, click here.

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