TULSA, Okla. — The battle with COVID-19 for a Tulsa toddler is being documented by her mother who works as a nurse dealing with infected patients.
Three-year-old Aurora Cannon was at Saint Francis Children's Hospital dealing with COVID-19 and pneumonia complications causing severe respiratory distress.
Aurora's mother Amelia documented her little girl's struggles and fight on Facebook.
Amelia, who is vaccinated, says she caught COVID-19 while working as a nurse dealing with COVID-19 patients daily and unfortunately brought the illness home to her family. She's pleading with those who are not vaccinated to get the shots.
“Maybe if they would’ve received the vaccine, they could have stayed home," Cannon said. "They wouldn’t have to get treatment in the hospital. And I wouldn’t have had that exposure and I wouldn’t have brought it home to my daughters. It’s a lot of guilt and frustration and a lot of what if’s on my part.”
While her husband and younger daughter Alice had fairly mild experiences, Aurora had to be hospitalized.
"Angry that I come to work and exhaust myself to treat unvaccinated patients," Amelia wrote on Facebook. "Only to bring it home to my babies. Can you imagine my frustration? My guilt? My fear?"
After several ups and downs and varying levels of oxygen needed throughout the last few days, Aurora had to be rushed to the pediatric ICU in an effort to get keep her breathing.
"I see this all day every day at work, but when it’s your own baby... I can’t even explain the fear," Amelia wrote. "I am scared. Dad is scared. Aurora is scared."
As of Thursday, Aurora had been on BiPap -- a form of a noninvasive ventilator -- to regulate her breathing. Amelia wrote on Facebook Friday morning that Aurora has been doing much better since getting on BiPap and that x-rays of her lungs are starting to show some improvement.
"There is no way to know if this is because the worst of the virus is over or because of the pressure of the BiPAP," Amelia says. "So she's earned a break from the BiPAP and will switch to the non-rebreather this afternoon to see how she does."
Amelia says she's sharing her family's story to educate others about the dark side of the virus.
“You hear the stories and sometimes you can see things, but it’s mostly been adults," she said. "But when you see a three-year-old struggling to breathe, there’s got to be something in your heart that tells you what can I do to help.”
Doctors plan to put Aurora back on BiPap on Friday evening and she'll have another x-ray on Saturday.
After a weekend of treatment, Amelia says that Aurora's been 'one tough cookie.' She posted on Sunday that Aurora's condition improved enough that she just needs to go a full day without oxygen before she can leave the hospital entirely.
"Now that she’s feeling better, it’s even harder to keep her entertained in these four walls," Amelia writes.
The weekend-long treatment finally gave into good news for the Cannon family. Aurora went home early Monday afternoon after not needing oxygen for over 24 hours. Amelia wrote Aurora has been eating, laughing, and playing with no drops in her oxygen levels. Due to this, the Cannons are able to be discharged to go home.
"I am so happy that this chapter of our lives is coming to a close," Aurora's mother Amelia writes in her update post. "We will never be the same."
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