BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Once a week, 12-year-old Madisyn and her mom Lindsay go through a careful routine. They lay out two long medical tubes that connect to a giant syringe loaded with a special immune-boosting medication.
Once the medicine is prepped, the whole thing is put into a pump. Two small needles at the end of the tubes are then inserted into Madisyn’s legs and the medicine is pumped into her body.
The weekly infusion helps support Madisyn’s fragile immune system.
Without it, even a simple cold could land her back in the hospital, where three years ago she spent months fighting for her life.
“She had flu B. She ended up with pneumonia covering both sides of her lungs. They’re thinking because of the severity of pneumonia she ended up with MSRA on her lungs. She was septic,” Lindsay Cavalier said.
Madisyn was 8-years-old at the time. Her mom says within about 48 hours of running a fever, Madisyn was placed in a medically induced coma at Our Lady of the Lake’s Children’s Hospital. Doctors told Cavalier to prepare for the worst.
"Literally pleading with God, give me my child. Literally I will do anything you want, just save my daughter,” Cavalier said. “We all gathered around her bedside and we prayed.”
Cavalier said that’s when something changed. Madisyn started showing slow, small improvements that the doctors couldn’t easily explain.
“I know we just watched a complete miracle happen in this room,” Cavalier told doctors.
Madisyn spent a total of 51 days in the hospital and half of that time was in a coma. She slowly improved, undergoing intensive therapy to learn how to walk and use her hands again. Madisyn says that was the hardest part.
"I remember waking up some nights thinking, ‘I wish I could walk. I wish I could go to the bathroom by myself,'” Madisyn said. “One day when I was in the hospital and got up from my bed and I walked to my bathroom. That was the greatest thing I remember doing.”
Today, Madisyn is dancing and hopes to play sports. While she’s come a long way, her lungs and immune system were left ravaged.
That’s why she spends two hours every week undergoing the immune-boosting infusion. It’s a small price to pay for the miracle her mom says happened inside Children’s Hospital. Cavalier says without Children’s, her daughter wouldn’t have made it.
“All I have to say is thank you because without them, I wouldn’t be here doing this interview right now or I wouldn’t even be the person that I am today,” Madisyn said.
Madisyn’s case is just one example of the many lives saved at OLOL’s Children’s Hospital. Even though the new building is complete and open, the Hospital still needs your support to ensure the facility has everything it needs to support patients and provide any needed treatment.
On Nov. 14 to 15, OLOL is hosting its annual Mediathon, a two-day fundraiser. Each day from 6 am to 6 pm, you can donate in a variety of ways. To learn how to donate click here.