by: Marissa Fiske/ Junior Writer
Jameson Mock, a former student of Blue Ridge High School, almost died last month.
I know his story because Jameson is my younger step brother.
Jameson, who turned 15 on Feb. 6, was found unresponsive in our home on December 29. His dad, James Mock, put a cold cloth on him to try and get a reaction, but Jameson remained motionless, limp and cold to the touch. His heart rate was also extremely low.
His dad, sister, and sister’s boyfriend carried Jameson to our truck and rushed him to the emergency room at Endless Mountains Health Systems in Montrose, PA. The rest of our family soon found themselves there, too.
At the ER, nurses immediately covered Jameson with warming blankets and gave him intravenous fluids and oxygen.
A blood sugar test showed Jameson’s levels were through the roof, over 2000 milligrams per deciliter. Normally, blood sugar levels are 125 mg/dL.
Jameson’s blood sugar levels resulted in life-threatening dehydration and a diabetic coma.
ER doctors arranged to transport Jameson by helicopter to the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.
Just as the helicopter arrived at the hospital, Jameson went into cardiac arrest. Nurses and doctors performed CPR for eight minutes before they restarted his heart.
Intubated and on a ventilator, Jameson was stabilized enough a few hours later to take the helicopter ride to Geisinger.
The flight to Danville was about a 20-minute trip for Jameson, but it was a 2.5 hour drive for the rest of us–and Jameson was without us as no one else was allowed to board the helicopter.
To say we were worried at this point is an understatement.
Still in a coma, Jameson was being kept alive by the ventilator.
A few hours later, Geisinger doctors informed our family that an ECMO was necessary to keep Jameson alive. ECMO, short for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a temporary form of heart lung bypass used for the most severe heart, lung or heart and lung failure.
Shortly after Jameson was attached to the ECMO, he went into cardiac arrest for the second time.
This time health care workers performed CPR for only 5 minutes, but it seemed like forever.
Thankfully, that was his last cardiac arrest.
Danville doctors and nurses connected Jameson to multiple tubes that carried various medications and fluids to his body, but ECMO is what saved Jameson’s life because it helped circulate and oxygenate his blood.
The Danville doctors decided Jameson needed to be in a hospital more suited towards children’s needs and he was transported by helicopter again, this time to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Jameson arrived at CHOP on December 30, and has been there ever since.
The ECMO treatment lasted just under three weeks, but Jameson remained intubated and on the ventilator until January 25 when he awoke from his coma.
My brother’s kidneys and lungs have some permanent damage, but Jameson is expected to recover. He is probably going to need a C pap machine after his recovery to help him breathe while he sleeps. We are also waiting on test results that will determine if Jameson has type one or two diabetes.
Currently, my brother is relearning how to sit, stand and move his body on his own with physical therapy.
On his birthday, February 6, he stood up.
He is also going through speech therapy so that they can teach him how to eat and swallow again. He has been able to eat apple sauce, ice cream, and ice pops. Jameson has been able to paint, watch TV, and try to play video games since he has been awake.
CHOP has provided everything for Jameson so that he does not get too bored, including Xbox, and prints of pictures that he wants to paint.
He has made huge steps towards his recovery since the day he was admitted.
This has been a very difficult and traumatic experience for Jameson, and his life is going to be changed forever, but he can make it through this. As he likes to say, he is strong and has big muscles.
If you’d like to donate and read more updates here is a GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jameson-mocks-recovery?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_content=facebook_cta_control&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook