Featured Little Hero Liam Myrick
On July 23, 2011 our world SUDDENLY changed, my son Liam was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. We had finally achieved the “American Dream” in Raymondville, Missouri. We had three happy and healthy children, summer was in full swing, and we finally had all of the love and support of our families within spitting distance from us. Liam had not been feeling well, but like any normal parent we thought it was due to the heat. Then the night of the 22nd Greg went to hug Liam goodnight and he gasped in pain and threw-up. We immediately rushed him to the ER. They said he needed to poop and that he had worms. So we went home. But the next morning he was no better and was also running a fever, so back to the ER we went. A CT scan was ordered immediately. The next thing we knew the doctor came in and gave us the worst news. Liam had a massive tumor in his belly region, and he was in first stages of liver failure. The doctor then said that Liam was going to be rushed to St Louis Children’s Hospital in St Louis, Missouri. It took a minute for it to sink in, then WHAM! It hit! All I could think about was “just save my son!” The tears came flowing, and it took everything in me to catch my breath. Once in the hospital all of the tests were started.
He had to go in for a biopsy of the tumor, a bone marrow biopsy, and have a central line put in his chest. Then the wait began for all of the tests to come back. Waiting was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I can honestly say the four days it took seemed like an eternity. His belly just kept growing! Liam wasn’t being treated yet, so it felt like we were watching him die right in front of us. Finally the results came in. It was confirmed – he had stage IV neuroblastoma, and a minimum of 18 months of treatments ahead, IF he makes it. We were then told the tumor grew out of his adrenal gland, pushed out his liver, wrapped around his aorta, then split his diaphragm, and settled on the bottom of his lungs. Due to the size of his tumor and where it was, it was creating a blister effect causing fluid in his lungs. The next thing we knew Liam was being sent down to the PICU and on life support. Those two weeks were the longest two weeks, and full of roller coaster ups and downs. We had to watch our son crash, and turn a horrible color grey, watch them bring him back, and then wait for Liam to decide to fight. He rested and regained strength enough that the PICU doctors wanted to take his breathing tube out. We were a nervous wreck as we watched and prayed. Finally, Liam was breathing on his own.
Meanwhile, while all this was going on, our other two children, Natasha (eleven years old) and Natalie (five years old), were still in Raymondville with our Grandma. Once we knew how long of a fight Liam was going to have, we had to make a difficult decision to move in with my parents, since they are closer than the three hours we would have had to do back and forth to the hospital.
About 2 weeks later, Liam got to come home for 48 hours. The girls had no idea! They jumped off the bus and went running for their brother. Finally, our family was whole again, even if for only 48 hours.
Liam will get admitted every 22 days for chemo, and has to stay in for five days at a time. He just finished round five. The tumor is still so big and still wrapped around his aorta, so the doctors want to give him another round of chemo before doing surgery. We were told today that he has a 50/50 chance of coming out of the surgery due to the size of the tumor, and how it is still wrapped around all of his main veins in his chest.
But I know he will beat this monster, it just takes the faith!
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