On May 14, 2007, a beautiful blonde, blue eyed little boy named Dylan Robert McNeil was born into this world. His smile and love for life was contagious. He was a blessing to so many lives, in many different ways.
On May 7, 2009, Dylan started not feeling well. I took his temperature when we got home and gave him Tylenol. We put him to bed early, hoping it would help. He woke up around 9pm, his temperature up to 103.8. I called the on-call service, we were getting worried about his breathing. They told us as long as his temperature was under 105, and he wasn't lethargic and still having wet diapers, respiratory rate around 30 per minute, to just watch him, and call if he gets worse. We were able to manage his breathing with his usual nebulizer medicines, and put him in bed with us. This was his first time sleeping with us in our bed at home.
Dylan started vomiting early Friday morning, but his temperature was down. The doctor office had us come in at 10 am, knowing Dylan and his history with pneumonia, we all figured we better check this out. He seemed as if he was getting lethargic, life-less, tired, etc. but he was able to keep down 2 popsicles. The doctor thought blood work should be done. Usually Dylan hates and fights any sort of needles. Not this time. We thought, wow, he really isn't feeling good. Blood work came back that there was some sort of bacterial infection somewhere. The decision was made to admit him to the pediatric unit at Rogue Valley Medical Center, to do IV fluids, antibiotics, and to test for a urinary infection. Usually he fights the IV, and it takes a couple of us to hold him down. Not this time, wow he really isn't feeling good.
Shortly after returning to his hospital room, Dylan fell asleep. As we awaited the test results, his left arm and cheek start twitching. Dylan is having a seizure. I get into a wheel chair, Dylan in my arms, and they take us to get a CT scan. He is still seizing. Upon returning, the doctors inform us they want to do a spinal tap to check for meningitis. They take Dylan into another room, to perform the procedure. As the doctor is reporting to us that all went well, Dylan stops breathing, and his heart rate drops. They place Dylan on a ventilator, and inform us that he needs to be flown to Doernbacher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. This is bigger than they can do. I look at Dylan's eyes. Something has happened. After Dylan, the medical team, and I arrive by plane, they rush Dylan to the pediatric intensive care unit. A team of doctors and nurses swarm around him, as I watch. After doing all they can, the doctor sat with me to tell me he has suffered severe brain trauma, there is nothing more she can do. We spent many days by Dylan's bedside, researching, hoping, praying, and begging for a medical miracle. Dylan never again was conscious after he started to seizure. We watched our son silently leave us as we stared at the ventilator monitor. Even with all the advanced medicine and procedures, Dylan's brain slowly progressed to brain death and herniated. Dylan was removed from life support and died in my arms. On May 13, 2009, one day shy of his second birthday; our worst fear became a reality. Dylan Robert McNeil left this world from horrific bacteria called Streptococcus Pnuemoniae or Pneumococcal Meningitis. We are determined to continue the fight against meningitis, so no other child will have to suffer, and no other parent will have to endure the pain of losing a child from this devastating illness. Please help us!
Sabrina McNeil (Dylan's mom)