This is Her Story of Peace, Love, and Strength

“This is NOT Mia’s Story!”
June 1, 2011
A very dear friend helped to name this crazy experience we have found ourselves in. And I can not believe it has already been 3 1/2 days since this all began? But it is. And we have also lost track of the days, as Heidi and I have only been home once for about 2 hours since we came here last Saturday afternoon.
I didn’t want to write too much, and I’m exhausted at the time of this writing, but we wanted to get something out there for people to see and to hopefully answer some of your questions.  Unfortunately, I may not get it all down tonight,….. as I need to get some sleep, but I want to try.
First of all, Heidi and I want to Thank so many people!! You have no idea how much your love and concern has meant to us, and to Mia. The amount of support has been overwhelming.  We honestly cannot thank all of you enough, and apologize for not answering the many calls and text messages that we have received, simply because there really hasn’t been a moment to do so.  But we will try to respond as we hope to have more ‘down’ time as we move forward.
I am often asked, “How have you been?”, and some time ago I thought about it, and realized and adopted my favorite reply, “I’m the luckiest guy you know!”, or something to that effect.  And I believed it was true.
And I still do!
All of your love and support for Mia and our family has born that out.  As a matter of fact, by Monday night, only 48 hours from when we brought Mia to the Primary Children’s Medical Center, we had to begin limiting visits to the CICU/PICU to see Mia and to express their support.  It truly has been incredible, yet it began to interfere with Mia’s care, and we’ve had to limit the number of visitors. I’m so sorry.  I know how badly you all want to know how Mia is doing! And I promised Ms. Amanda I would get this done! She’s been so amazing helping to set this up.  We love you for it!
Without giving you the ENTIRE story, I will at least give you some general information, which I hope will answer some of your questions? If it does not, and if I haven’t answered your call/message/email/ or text? (which is likely ALL of you! I’m so sorry!), then I promise to add more tomorrow, or as regularly as I can.  But, if you’ve been by to see Mia or us, then you’ll know what I mean.
Anyway, Miss MiaBella Brickey, our beautiful, energetic, and ‘healthy’ 11 year old daughter has suffered a very rare complication from what is likely to be a very common illness.  In other words, what has happened to Mia can NOT be passed or spread to any other person, and none of her friends are at risk of “catching” this from her.  We wanted to let her friends know this.  I do not know the odds, but they are probably ‘great’ that hundreds or even thousands of people could contract the very same virus (assumed) and NEVER have this type of complication.
The preliminary diagnosis is Myocarditis, of unknown origin, but possibly viral. This resulted in making her heart very ‘sick’ and swollen.  This, in turn, has made it very difficult for her heart to beat normally and with enough effectiveness to keep her healthy.  And on Sunday, at about 11:00 am, Mia needed to be connected to a machine called ECMO, which is supporting her heart and lungs.  In this way, we are able to give her body a much needed rest and to give us some time to figure out how best to help Mia get better?
Sunday was, to say the least, not an easy day. But, after 4 surgical procedures since Saturday night, we have our dear Mia at a relatively stable spot!!! And, this is absolutely Wonderful!
I have been reminded by my solid ROCK of a wife *(and many others, including the great Doctors here), that I need to remember that Mia has a long road to travel, and there will be setbacks along the way, but I also can’t help celebrating the good things!  But I have agreed with Heidi to try to keep my emotions a little more ‘level’, and calling these good things “Positive Baby Steps”,  so as not to be so disappointed by the setbacks along the way.
So, for now, we just want everyone to know that Mia is stable. I especially want all of Mia’s friends to know that she is not in pain. She is resting with the help of medication and several machines which are keeping her blood, heart, and lungs clean and giving her a chance to get everything working again. Even though this happened very, very fast, it is going to take some time for Mia to get ‘better’.  And Your incredible letters, cards, pictures, gifts, prayers, and warm wishes of Love and Healing have all helped to make her stable, and will continue to help her improve!  We are certain of this.
I will try to write more in the future…… very soon!
But for now, please do me two favors…….
1. Take time, right now (if possible….. and if not, when you can) to hold your children; to give them an extra hug and cuddle; and to look into their precious eyes and tell them how much you love them and why.  This would make me feel better.
2. Please continue to pray for Mia’s complete and full recovery.  I don’t care if you get on your knees, or if you light a stick of incense and dance around a drum circle, or if you meditate and focus your energy her way.  It doesn’t matter to us how you worship, or how you celebrate our mutual experience we call “Life”, we only humbly ask that you do this with Mia in mind so that her spirit can be supported by your thoughts, prayers, and energy, as this little girl needs all the help you can give.
You all know how much Mia loves each and every one of you.  You all say so in your cards and letters.  Mia is many things. And she is a “Survivor”. She is strong. But she is also one of the most loving people I have ever known.  And she needs your love now.
Please have a great day! and know that we are reading to her each and every card/note/and letter that you send.  Even though she can not talk right now, we know she can hear us, and we know she hears your words of support and love.  Thank you again. We love you all.
Peace be with you all.
Tom and Heidi



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