Please keep our Columnist Cassidy Huff in your thoughts!


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South King Media Blogger (and Mt. Rainier High School student) Cassidy Huff recently had an emergency visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she underwent her 41st surgery this week for an infection on her spine.

Aside from writing for our blogs, Cass of course is known as the City of Burien’s 2016 “Citizen of the Year,” which she earned by showing her service to special needs students while at Sylvester Middle School (Cass raised money to purchase iPads for the students – read more here).

Cassidy was born with a rare genetic condition called Conradi-Hunermann Syndrome, which affects her spine so she has scoliosis and kyphosis for which she had two VEPTR’s (titanium ribs) to help keep her spine straighter. Now she has two permanent rods and 19 screws fused into place. These were placed in May, 2016 after 6 weeks in halo traction. She has limb length issues. Her right side is shorter and she wears foot on foot prosthesis.  Her vision has now been corrected in her right eye. She had a very severe cataract in that eye that has now been replaced with a lens. We call it the bionic eye! She also has some patchy alopecia (otherwise known as bald spots). Cassidy also has some hearing loss in her left ear. This has been corrected with a hearing aid that she wears most days (it even has bluetooth in it!).  She has had 40 surgeries and hopefully we are finished. If you are interested in reading our journal on our other page please feel free to do so. You can find it at; www.caringbrige.org/wa/cassidyhuff Thanks for checking up on us! Please feel free to email me with any questions. Much love!

Here are some updates from Cass’ Mom, Shannon Reynolds, in reverse chronological order:

6/22/17:

Hi Everyone,

Cassidy had another great day yesterday and a good night with restful sleep. She had a few visitors and was able to go to the rooftop garden twice.

Plan for today is to remove her drain and ensure her incision looks good. This should happen sometime around 12:30. Then we wait. Wait to see how she’s feeling and how her back looks. As long as it’s doing what it should we can go home tomorrow.

We’ve been here for 8 days now. Not as long as some stays or others we know but it’s been a long haul this time. We will all be thankful to go home. I’m grateful that I have an employer that understands and my team members step in and take care of business. The outpouring of support I receive from work is amazing.

We are still up for visitors and would love to have people come see Cassidy here or at home.

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers. They mean so much to us.

6/20/17:

Cassidy had a successful 41st surgery and we are back in her room.

When we went up for surgery earlier the anesthesiologist came over to discuss the plan. Cassidy asked him where his accent was from and he said Hogwarts!! Cassidy was sold!! He came up with a great plan and Cassidy did great going off to to sleep.

After surgery was over we met with the surgeon. He said that there was infection pockets around her right rod. They exposed it and cleaned and put antibiotic powder in. Cassidy made a special request to have an even number of staples put in and Klane actually counted them! 50 to be exact!

She does have a hemovac drain in that will stay for a few days and we will be here to watch her for fevers, etc. and make sure her incision is healing well.

Tonight we settle in and keep her comfy. She’s already had jello and sprite. She’s singing and chatting on the phone with friends.

6/16/17:

Cassidy is at Seattle Children’s on the surgical unit. She didn’t have surgery but let me tell you what has been going on.

Tuesday morning she woke up in extreme pain and was not really able to get out of bed well and stayed home for the day. When we both got home from work we asked her if she had kept up on her Tylenol etc and she said no so she was hurting even more. We managed to get her to eat and drink a little and get her back on some OTC meds. She rested well and woke up Wednesday in more pain. By the time I got home Wednesday night she was not improved. Her dad and I made the decision that it was best that I bring her in to get checked out.

Wednesday evening I arrived at the Urgent Care and they took one look at her, the history, and her current symptoms and sent us to the Emergency Department. The ED wait took many hours and finally around midnight were called back to a room. They started an IV and took blood for labs, and decided to call Ortho in. Meanwhile we had x-rays done. The resident came in and talked to us. Determined that we needed further imaging and he would like to admit Cassidy. We waited for a bit longer and finally received a room assignment, headed to CT before going to the floor. Made it to the room around 6am.

Yesterday was a quiet day with a few team members rounding on her. Ortho is great and came by to ensure that things were ok. She did have several bouts of nausea and then subsequent vomiting so that was frustrating. Not eating much and having a fever made for a long day, coupled with very little sleep for both of us.

Last night I was finally able to shower and get into bed. After being awake close to 42 hours straight it was time for rest. They did come in many times to check fever and give meds, do vitals etc so Cassidy’s sleep was broken up and not very restful. She still looks really tired today too.

This morning after a urinalysis it was determined that she has a raging UTI. We are adjusting her antibiotics as her counts were still very high this morning even with close to 24 hours of antibiotics on board. This seems a little odd to the team and they are having Infectious Disease team come round on her later. Funny tidbit that Ortho and ID don’t see eye to eye all the time so we are hopeful that the Cipro does the trick for Cass and we can be seeing better response from her body soon.

We are staying another night to ensure that she has no fever and starts eating and keeping food down. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers as we hang out here today. We welcome visitors as long as you are well. Can visit until 8pm tonight. Cassidy is in pretty good spirits but is sad that she missed her last week of school with her friends. Please be sensitive to that when you come visit.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Say a prayer or send a positive message to/for Cass, or donate to (and read more about) her here:

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cassidyhuff

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Comments

8 Responses to “Please keep our Columnist Cassidy Huff in your thoughts!”
  1. Clean it up! says:

    Big hugs and prayers for you to be home soon Cassidy! Enjoy all the rest you can get. You deserve it!

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  2. hs parent says:

    sending you positive thoughts and hugs! get well soon 🙂

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  3. heartfelt says:

    Wishing you all the best Cassidy. You’re tougher than most. Keep smiling 🙂

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  4. joanie johnson says:

    Cassie, Your bravery in such challenging circumstances is amazing and I hope and pray others will follow their dreams as you have yours. You will forever be on my prayer list, and I know you experience heavenly protection always. Much love to you and your family.

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  5. Erin Whitty says:

    I hope you are home and feeling better soon Cassidy!

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  6. Richard G says:

    Get well soon! Your absence is a big loss to this blog.

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  7. Tom Taaffa says:

    You get well quick Cass. Your talent as a writer is sorely needed. Tom

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  8. nicky says:

    Hugs and prayers to you Cassidy!!!

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