In May, Kayla became sick with flu-like symptoms, but two weeks went past with no improvement. In that two-week period, Amy took Kayla to the doctor three times.
Amy said she was told, "It's a virus; let it run its course" and "It's a sinus infection," for which Kayla was prescribed amoxicillin. Two days later, Kayla wasn't better and Amy decided to take her to the hospital.
Kayla doesn't like doctors, so her meek, "OK, Mom," underscored Amy's decision. But Kayla had trouble putting on her shoes and she could not hold onto a water cup.
By the time Kayla arrived at the hospital, she was slurring her speech so she was taken for an X-ray along with other tests. Kayla did have a stroke, Amy said, but that wasn't all.
"The doctor came in and said, 'Your daughter's has a 460,000 white blood count. You have about one hour to get ahold of whoever you can. Her health is deteriorating very quickly, and she's going to Lurie's,'" Amy said.
The stoke left a one-inch lesion on Kayla's brain, Amy said.
"It's not actively bleeding," Amy said. "But I worry if anything aggravates her brain it may make it worse."
Kayla also had third nerve palsy. Her left arm and leg is shaky ("She's just received a leg brace to stabilize her better," Amy said). Her right eye sometimes doesn't stay centered when Kayla focuses on an object, Amy said.
In addition, Kayla's had dialysis and plasmapheresis (to help remove excess white blood cells, Amy said. Kayla's had a pulmonary hemorrhage, she's been in heart failure; and she's been "hooked up to an oscillator," Amy said
"She's had sepsis a couple of times," Amy said.
Kayla was supposed to have five rounds of chemotherapy. Three were completed before Kayla went into heart failure, Amy said. The rest of her treatment is uncertain at this point, except Kayla most likely won't have the fifth round.
"It's very good. It kills off the cancer," Amy said. "But it's not good for the heart."
Kayla is currently in physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) and she's doing well with therapy.
"She's starting to do laps around the gym with her walker," Amy said. "They are planning on discharging her on the 26th of this month."
Amy doesn't know at this point if "discharged" means Kayla will return to the hospital or home. Kayla still has challenges ahead. All in all, Amy feels Kayla's dealt with her situation remarkably well.
"Kayla's amazing," Amy said. "She's a rock. I don't know how she does it. I learn from her."