....2003 ticked over and would prove to be another big year.....the highlight being a fundraising function for the Cure for Life Foundation with Dr Charlie being the main attraction....It was in honor of one of our special friends - Lilly, just a little younger than Taylor who had not survived her aggressive tumor. It was also an exciting opportunity to meet up with Taylor's very favourite Doctor....she was hard to convince that he hadn't just come to see her and sit and chat....
It proved to be more of an important meeting than we anticipated....for a few days before the dinner I discovered a lump on Taylor's head that shouldn't have been there......so Dr Teo graciously did a little consult at the dinner and suggested we head for a MRI asap.
Whamo...it was off and running again...the nature of Taylor's tumor was a "space invader" and while it continued to grow it was placing pressure on the brain .
This time the decision seemed a little easier and we knew what we had to do,book some tickets and fly over to Dr Teo once more.....the surgery was going to be tricky ...but he was going to go hard otherwise we would be doing this for her lifetime....we entrusted her once again and waited out the mammoth surgery time....this time we had family fly with us to help out with Meg who was now 3 years old.
She came through ok...a little more worse for wear on a few of the hormonal problems and we could see that she was a little more battle injured in many small ways but we were keen to get her home to recoup. Dr Teo was confident that he had taken the last of the tumor...after a week we headed home...a rough trip but one we made ..
Over the next two months we were in and out of the children's hospital with little complications related to the balance of medication and the fine line we tread keeping fluid balances. Not much of Year Two was seen at school and she desperately missed her teacher and friends.
It was while in hospital on one of these visits Taylor took a turn that we couldn't explain....
We found ourselves in the ICU with a crisis on our hands.....Taylor was put into an induced coma and there she stayed for weeks......we stayed by her side.....not one minute of the day went by that one of us wasn't there....we took turns sitting together or on our own...Derek tried to maintain work, they were so so accommodating.....I had been teaching part time but just had to exit quickly and relinquish my job we were in for the long haul and didn't know how long that would be.Meg moved in with my sister and her family to be cared for.
Slowly after several weeks it was decided to allow Taylor to wake.....which took longer than they thought...it appears her body had shut down ...it became clear that she had no movement and her speech was also gone. There was much discussion about her future and what we should prepare ourselves for.....we were having none of it.
She was strong ...we could be strong for her...there was no turning back for any of us.....there was the insinuations that this Dr Teo hadn't done the right thing by us....but we stood by all that we had done and knew that God would bring our little girl through.
So from early July through to late October when we finally brought her back home we prayed, stayed and willed her on. We were brought meals every single night by friends on a roster...often able to share with others we had so much.....we became a part of the furniture....the nursing staff became extended family and we learnt to sleep in recliners quite satisfactorily. The hard work for Taylor was on......physio, speech,learning to move, eat and talk......we learned along side of her for we knew our goal was to get home.
By late October we had a long way to go but were desperate to head home.....so now wheelchair dependent we had the house modified to accommodate her...enrolled the silver chain to help each day, enlisted the help of a physio friend that would come every second day...we could do this...and we did slowly.....
She fought us all the way...being stripped of her independence was hard ...she was very mature and strong willed...yet now had to rely on so many others as did we, having to learn to lean.
Transport was an issue which kept us at home for the rest of that year until we could figure out a way to purchase a vehicle...we just weren't sure how permanent the chair need would be...we had hoped not long.........